RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Addressing today’s most pressing substance use issues. Informing the drug policy of the future.

Opioids, cannabis, injectables and alcohol drug concept collage

Photo credits from left to right: Bits and Splits/Adobe Stock, underworld/Adobe Stock, Leonid/Adobe Stock, and EasyAsa/Getty Images

Substance use and efforts to influence it are the subject of serious policy debates around the world.

For more than 30 years, the RAND Drug Policy Research Center has conducted research to help decisionmakers in the United States and abroad address issues involving alcohol and other drugs. In doing so, the Center brings an objective and data-driven perspective to this often emotional and fractious policy arena.

Our team of experts includes those from many fields such as medicine, statistics, economics, psychology, sociology, law, criminal justice, decision science, and public policy. We are all committed to improving the health, social, and economic well-being of populations and communities throughout the world.

Research Highlights

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Recent Commentaries

  • Marijuana in a jar, photo by MmeEmil/Getty Images

    Green Light for Cannabis Legalisation in Germany Is Not a Clear-Cut Decision

    The new “traffic light” coalition in Germany recently agreed to regulate the sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops. International experience has shown that great care is needed in how cannabis policy is shaped.

  • Lt. Col. Scott Morley, commander of the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, administers the oath of enlistment to 40 future soldiers, August 26, 2018, at Chase Field, photo by Mike Scheck/U.S. Army

    Army Enlistment Waivers in the Age of Legal Marijuana

    Army recruits with a history of marijuana use can ask for a waiver like those who have diabetes or insomnia. They are just as likely as others to complete their first term and make sergeant, and are less likely to leave the Army for health or performance reasons.

  • Trays of injection materials are placed in cubicles at the SCMR (a supervised injection site) in Paris, France, October 11, 2016, photo by Patrick Kovarik/Pool/Reuters

    Treating Supervised Drug Consumption Sites Like Cannabis

    Some communities hard hit by the opioid crisis are interested in opening supervised consumption sites—places where people who use drugs can do so under supervision of trained staff. What could be done to make it easier to pilot and evaluate these sites in the United States?

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RAND DPRC Research Making an Impact

The RAND Drug Policy Research Center was created to take a comprehensive look at big-picture issues involving drug policies to examine how they evolved and provide insight on how they might change in the future. Our research efforts to improve alcohol and other drug policies around the world have led to a number of salient accomplishments.

  • Plastic bags of Fentanyl are displayed on a table at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, November 29, 2017

    Evolution of the U.S. Overdose Crisis

    Bryce Pardo testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on the role of synthetic opioids in the U.S. overdose crisis.

  • Large indoor marijuana legal recreational commercial growing operation

    Cannabis Legalization in Canada

    Beau Kilmer provided testimony to the Canadian legislature on different alternatives to prohibition, including considerations for prices, taxes, and international implications.