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In 2010, California narrowly missed passing a voter referendum to legalize marijuana production and use at the state level. The initiative, known as Proposition 19, was ill-drafted and illogical, but it still came within just a few percentage points of passing - and it did so in a year with a strong conservative tide. A different proposition, but aimed to the same end, is virtually certain to be on the ballot in California in 2012, and proponents are also trying to get it on the ballot in other states, including Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. The odds of passage in California are good, and the United States is likely to soon see a flood of similar propositions in other states. At some point, probably more distant, the legislatures, and even perhaps Congress, may pick up the debate. The debate and media coverage surrounding Proposition 19 reflected profound confusion, both about the current state of the world and about the likely effects of changes in the law.Marijuana Legalizationwill provide readers with a non-partisan primer about the topic, covering everything from the medical definition and benefits and negative consequences of using marijuana, to current laws around the drug, the likely consequences of legalization at the state and national levels, and ideas about the way that marijuana could be produced and regulated. In conclusion, the authors will lay out different strategies to address the situation, both at the national level and at the state level.
Jonathan P. Caulkins is Stever Professor of Operations Research and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
Angela Hawken is Associate Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.
Beau Kilmer is Co-Director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.
Mark Kleiman is Professor of Public Policy at UCLA and editor of The Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. He is Washington state's lead adviser on the legalization of marijuana, and was named by Politico Magazine as one of the Politico 50, a list of the key thinkers, doers and visionaries reshaping American politics. He is the author of When Brute Force Fails and Against Excess.
Table of Contents
What is marijuana?
Who uses marijuana in the United States and how much do they use?
What is known about the negative consequences of using marijuana?
What is known about the non-medicinal benefits of using marijuana?
What is known about the medicinal benefits of using marijuana?
How stringent is law enforcement against marijuana?
What is legalization and what is the context of the debate?
What are the different ways marijuana could be produced, regulated, and taxed after legalization?
What are the likely consequences of marijuana legalization at the national level
Could one state legalize marijuana?
Between marijuana prohibition and legalization: What do we know about the middle ground?
Can industrial hemp save the planet?
How will marijuana legalization affect me personally?
What do the authors think about marijuana legalization?
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