Drug Policy Research Center Hot Topic: Marijuana Legalization

The RAND Drug Policy Research Center is a non-partisan research center dedicated to providing objective analysis and research to decisionmakers. We do not have an official policy position on marijuana reform and more generally RAND does not advocate for or against legislation at any level of government.

But for more than 25 years, RAND researchers have published articles and studies that will be useful for those making decisions about marijuana policy. Here we summarize some of these studies and provide links to the publications (some journal articles may require subscription). This is not an exhaustive list of RAND's marijuana-related publications and we encourage readers to visit http://dprc.rand.org for more information.

Featured Research

Commentary

  • A marijuana joint on a coffeeshop table in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The Future of Cannabis in the Netherlands

    Feb 1, 2017

    The Netherlands should proceed cautiously in implementing any marijuana regulations, taking into account the models devised elsewhere and remembering that once enacted the rules will be difficult to change.

  • An electronic billboard displays a marijuana hashtag at Times Square in New York, November 7, 2016

    Trump's Marijuana Options

    Jan 17, 2017

    The new administration has at least six options for addressing marijuana. These are not mutually exclusive, and each comes with tradeoffs. All six are compatible with a federal approach that encourages discussions about prohibition and its alternatives.

  • Displays at Shango Cannabis shop on the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Portland, Oregon, October 1, 2015

    The Legal Marijuana Middle Ground

    Dec 1, 2016

    There are many ways to legalize marijuana supply besides the for-profit approach. But to learn what effects various models have, the federal government will have to make it easier for states to implement some middle-ground options.

  • A closeup of cannabis

    What Your Kids Need to Know About Marijuana, Legalized or Not

    Sep 21, 2016

    If you are a parent, no matter how you feel about legalizing marijuana, you need to be prepared to talk about the drug with your kids.

  • A grower holds a plant for sale at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California, July 11, 2014

    Your Questions About Marijuana Legalization, Answered

    Sep 13, 2016

    At least five states will vote on legal recreational marijuana this November. Drug policy expert Beau Kilmer hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit to shed light on this and other issues.

  • Rows of cannabis plants in a greenhouse

    Researcher Q&A: Beau Kilmer on the State of Marijuana Legalization

    May 26, 2016

    Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and a co-author of the nonpartisan primer Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know addresses developments in marijuana policy and why reasonable people can disagree about legalization.

Books

  • Marijuana leaf on a wood background

    Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know

    May 2, 2016

    A crisp, clear, and comprehensive non-partisan primer, this book covers the risks and benefits of use, current trends, and marijuana laws around the world. The authors discuss the costs and benefits of legalization as well as possible policy options.

  • Cannabis Use and Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy Cover

    Cannabis Use and Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy

    Jan 1, 2003

    Exploring the relationship between health policy, public health and the law regarding the controversial use of cannabis, this study assesses the impact of illegality in drug use and compares it with the policies of the U.S., Europe and Australia as well as other developed societies. Written by two leading drug advisors, the analysis contributes to an important field of research.

  • Drug War Heresies Cover

    Drug War Heresies: Learning From Other Vices, Times, & Places

    Aug 21, 2001

    This book provides the first multidisciplinary and nonpartisan analysis of how the United States should decide on the legal status of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. It draws on data about the experiences of Western European nations with less punitive drug policies as well as new analyses of America's experience with legal cocaine and heroin a century ago.

Policy and Law

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Criminal Justice

Outcomes

Prevention and Interventions