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Getting it Right: Marijuana Policy in California

Marijuana has come a long way since the gloomy, back-alleys of Reefer Madness in 1936. Since Colorado first legalized marijuana for adult use in 2012, eight states have followed, with Canada today introducing a bill in Parliament to legalize and tax marijuana usage and sales according to regulations for alcohol. (See “Trudeau Unveils Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Canada,” New York Times, 4-13-17.) This rapid shift in cultural norms towards legal marijuana is causing legislators in affected localities to scramble to regulate markets, establish transport guidelines, oversee environmental impact, and set forth clear DUI rules. To help clarify conflicts and gaps in current regulations, a Stanford Law and Policy Lab research team worked directly with California Assemblyman Jim Wood (District 2) who represents the “Emerald Triangle”—the three counties that comprise the largest marijuana-producing region in the United States. Assemblyman Wood asked the SLS research team for help in examining the thorny legal issues involved in implementing California Proposition 64, which legalizes retail marijuana for adult recreational use. Read more »

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