Cannabis Policy Topics

Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 1

Laws legalizing the cultivation, sale, or use of cannabis for other than medical purposes, together with laws imposing various prohibitions and restrictions on such practices.

Policy Topics

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About This Policy: Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 1

NOTE:  This policy topic is one of two topics pertaining to Recreational Use of Cannabis. The other topic is Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 2.

The variables addressed in Volume 1 of the APIS treatment of Recreational Cannabis include:

  • legalization of recreational use;
  • State agency(ies) with authority to regulate recreational use;
  • products permitted;
  • cultivation restrictions;
  • jurisdictions providing for retail sales for on or off-premises use;
  • jurisdictions with pricing controls;
  • tax rates;
  • prohibitions on underage purchase, possession, consumption, and furnishing;
  • prohibitions on impaired driving; and
  • the extent of local authority.

The variables addressed in Volume 2 of the APIS treatment of Recreational Cannabis include:

  • legalization of recreational use;
  • prohibition of “vertical integration”;
  • entities that make up the cannabis distribution system;
  • requirements for a seed-to-sale or inventory tracking system;
  • restrictions on the use of pesticides, and testing for the presence of pesticides;
  • health and/or safety-related warning requirements on labels or packaging;
  • requirements applicable to the physical packaging of recreational cannabis products;
  • restrictions on the advertising of recreational cannabis products;
  • restrictions on public consumption of cannabis;
  • provisions governing home delivery of cannabis; and
  • restrictions on open containers of cannabis in the passenger compartments of motor vehicles.

For further detail concerning the variables addressed, see the Variables tabs for Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 1 and Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 2.

 

(Period Covered: 1/1/2012 through 1/1/2018)

INTRODUCTION

This policy topic covers statutes and regulations legalizing the cultivation, sale, or use of cannabis for other than medical (hereafter referred to as “recreational”) purposes, together with laws imposing various prohibitions and restrictions on such practices.

In this context, “legalized" means that no civil or criminal penalties are imposed for the recreational use of cannabis by an adult resident. “Legalized” should not be confused with “decriminalized,” which means that no criminal penalties are imposed for certain activities, although some activities may result in civil penalties. Some States have decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis, but have not fully legalized such use.

For purposes of this policy topic, “cannabis” refers to Cannabis sativa (more commonly known as marijuana), a member of the Cannabaceae or hemp family of plants, whose product is derived from the dried tops, leaves, stems, and seeds of the plant.

Cannabis contains chemical compounds called cannabinoids. One important cannabinoid is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which has a psychoactive effect and is the chemical associated with recreational use. Another cannabinoid is cannabidiol, or CBD, which has a sedative and mildly analgesic effect and is the chemical associated with medicinal use.

Note that APIS does not include information on the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. For policy data regarding medical cannabis, researchers may wish to consult the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s “Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System,” available at: http://www.pdaps.org/page/medical-marijuana/56d0763ad6c9e743623689d9 or the National Conference of State Legislatures’ “State Medical Marijuana Laws” page, available at: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx .

HISTORY

Between 1840 and 1900, cannabis was legal and used medicinally in the United States. In 1860, based on concern about possible negative effects of use, the first Federal commission to study cannabis was created. By the 1890s, many members of the medical community considered it a narcotic that should be regulated.

Recreational cannabis use in the U.S. started at the beginning of the 20th century, as did the movement to regulate its use. In 1914 the Harrison Act was enacted, which declared drug use a crime. In 1915, California became the first State to make it illegal to possess cannabis. In the 1930s, the then U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics warned of the increasing abuse of cannabis, and by 1937, 23 States had criminalized possession. Also, in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act imposed a tax on cannabis. In 1942, marijuana was removed from the U.S. pharmacopeia. In 1956, cannabis was included in the Federal Narcotics Control Act, leading to strict Federal penalties for its possession.

In the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the Federal government categorized marijuana as a Schedule I substance, meaning it was considered to have no acceptable medical use and was among the class of drugs having the highest potential for abuse. (For information regarding the DEA’s 2018 reclassification of the epilepsy drug Epidiolex from Schedule I to Schedule V, and regarding the 2018 Farm Bill’s removal of low-THC hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, see the Federal Law page at https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/cannabis-policy-topics/recreational-use-of-cannabis-volume-1/104/about-this-policy#page-content .)

Not long after the categorization of marijuana as a dangerous drug, Federal and State-level efforts arose to decriminalize the possession of cannabis. President Richard Nixon appointed a commission to review marijuana laws, and in 1972 the commission recommended that cannabis be decriminalized. President Nixon declined to act on that recommendation, although some States moved in the other direction. In 1978, New Mexico was the first State to recognize its legitimate medical use. In 1996, California became the first State to legalize the use of medical marijuana. As of 2018, more than 30 other jurisdictions have done the same for medical marijuana.

With respect to the recreational use of cannabis, efforts at the State level have focused first on decriminalization and then on legalization.

Between 1973 and 1979, eleven States decriminalized cannabis possession. Due to public health concerns about underage cannabis use, further efforts to decriminalize were unsuccessful until the 2000s, when several additional States decriminalized possession.

The next level of lawmaking has been to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in specific and limited ways. As of January 1, 2018, eight States and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use to varying degrees for adults, starting in 2012 with voter referenda in Colorado and Washington.

In the website comparison tables, APIS presents tabular data pertaining to legalization of recreational cannabis cultivation, sale, or use in the United States as of 1/1/2018. On the recently adopted laws page, APIS presents descriptions of any recreational cannabis legalization laws that may have been adopted since 1/1/2018.

VARIABLE SELECTION PROCESS

Development of a Cannabis Policy Taxonomy

As a first step in the variable selection process for this topic, APIS staff and NIAAA developed the Cannabis Policy Taxonomy (Klitzner, Thomas, Schuler, Hilton, & Mosher, 2017). The cannabis taxonomy provides an inventory and taxonomy of cannabis policies and is based on the categories and theoretical concepts used in the Alcohol Policy Taxonomy, which was developed at the inception of the APIS project in 2001.

Like the alcohol taxonomy, the cannabis taxonomy is designed to address key constructs from public health policy research that affect consumption of potentially harmful substances, including physical, economic, and social availability.

Physical availability is a function of barriers to obtain a substance, including: the amount of the substance available; the nature and number of sources (retail, friends, family members); the number and convenience of such sources (proximity, density, hours of retail sales); and other legal barriers (minimum age for possession, consumption, and purchase, laws prohibiting furnishing to minors). It is also a function of the number of product types and the contexts in which use is allowed (while in the workplace, before or while operating a motor vehicle) (Gruenewald, 1993; Moskowitz, 1989; Rush, Glickman, & Brook, 1986).

Economic availability is the cost of obtaining a substance. Contributing to these costs are producer, wholesale, and retail base prices; fees passed on to or levied on consumers (producer, distributor, retail business fees, and user fees); and taxes, such as excise taxes, ad valorem taxes, and sales taxes. Government-imposed price controls (e.g., minimum pricing, bans on retail promotions, etc.) may also affect economic availability (Chalupka, Grossman, & Saffer, 1998; Moskowitz, 1989).

Social availability is the extent to which use of the substance is visible in the community via advertising, density of retail outlets, and restrictions on where and when the substance may be used (Moskowitz, 1989).

In general, the lower the availability of a potentially harmful substance, the lower the population-level use and the fewer the problems experienced. Thus, from a public health perspective, a main goal of policies related to harmful substances is to control or reduce availability (Stockwell & Gruenewald, 2001).

Selection of Specific Variables

Once the Cannabis Policy Taxonomy was developed, APIS staff selected and interviewed senior public health scholars to assist with the selection of an initial list of ten variables to include in the APIS treatment of the recreational cannabis policy. Scholars with a deep knowledge of both alcohol and cannabis policy were interviewed by senior APIS staff members to identify the variables of interest to researchers. The variables addressed in the APIS treatment of Recreational Use of Cannabis volumes 1 and 2 were drawn from these interviews.

For further detail concerning the variables addressed, see the Variables tabs for Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 1 and Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 2.


 

References regarding History: 

USDA: http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=display&classid=Cannabaceae . Accessed 3/23/16.

The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States. Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School. A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference. Drug Library: http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/history/first12000/1.htm . Accessed 3/23/16.

Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford (hopes). Medical Marijuana Policy in the United States. May 15. 2012. http://web.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/hopes_test/medical-marijuana-policy-in-the-united-states/ . Accessed 3/24/16.

Historical and Cultural Uses of Cannabis and the Canadian "Marijuana Clash”. Prepared For The Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. Leah Spicer. Law and Government Division. 12 April 2002. Library of Parliament. http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/371/ille/library/spicer-e.htm#A . Accessed 3/25/2016.

 

References regarding Variable Selection Process: 

Chaloupka, F.J., Grossman, M., & Saffer, H. (1998). The effects of price on the consequences of alcohol use and abuse. In M. Galanter (Ed.). Recent Developments in Alcoholism, Volume 16: The Consequences of Alcohol (pp. 331-346). New York: Plenum Press.

Gruenewald, P. (1993). Alcohol problems and the control of availability: Theoretical and empirical issues. In M. Hilton & G. Bloss (Eds.). Economics and the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems: Proceedings of a Workshop on Economic and Socioeconomic Issues in the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems, October 10-11, 1991. Research Monograph 25. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Klitzner, M., Thomas, S., Schuler, J., Hilton, M., & Mosher, J. (2017). The new cannabis policy taxonomy on APIS: Making sense of the cannabis policy universe. Journal of Primary Prevention, 38(3), 295-314. doi: 10.1007/s10935-017-0475-6.

Moskowitz, J. (1989). The primary prevention of alcohol problems: A critical review of the research literature. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 50(1), 54-88.

Rush, B.R., Gliksman, L., & Brook, R. (1986). Alcohol availability, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related damage: The distribution of consumption model. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 47(1), 1-10.

Stockwell, T., & Gruenewald, P. (2001). Controls on the physical availability of alcohol. In N. Heather and T. Stockwell (Eds.). The Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

 

Cannabis
A genus of flowering plant of the Cannabaceae or hemp family, and including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Only Cannabis sativa is relevant to this policy topic.
CBD
Cannabidiol - a compound found in cannabis. CBD is widely thought to be non-psychoactive and is the compound most often associated with medicinal use.
Minor
A person under the age of 21 years.
ng/mL
Nanograms per milliliter. Cannabis impairment is commonly measured in nanograms of THC per milliliter of a person's whole blood.
Off-Premises Sales
Retail sale of cannabis products for consumption somewhere other than the premises where the products are purchased.
On-Premises Sales
Retail sale of cannabis products for consumption on the premises where the products are purchased.
Retail
The sale of cannabis products directly to consumers.
Sales Tax
A tax on goods in general rather than a tax that specifically applies to cannabis.
THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol - a compound found in cannabis. THC is considered psychoactive and is the compound most often associated with recreational use.

Explanatory Notes and Limitations Specifically Applicable to Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 1

1. The Recreational Use Legalized column displays a check mark for jurisdictions that have legalized the purchase, possession, or consumption of cannabis for recreational use by an adult resident. For purposes of this topic:

  • "Legalized" means no civil or criminal penalties are imposed for at least one of following activities with respect to the recreational use of cannabis by an adult resident: purchase, possession, or consumption
  • "Recreational" means for other than medical purposes
  • "Adult" means a person 21 years of age or older

This topic does not address prohibitions or penalties that may exist in the jurisdictions that have not legalized recreational cannabis use as defined here.

Note that although a jurisdiction may have legalized recreational cannabis use as defined here, certain limitations may nevertheless be imposed, for example limits on the amount that a person may purchase or possess, or restrictions concerning the locations in which cannabis may be consumed. This topic does not currently address these limitations.

2. Although States often define cannabis broadly, for example to include "every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin," the coding of the Products Permitted column is limited to products identified from the specific terms used in the law, or a reasonable interpretation of what those terms would include, according to the following guidelines:

  • Herbal: References to leaves, buds, flowers, etc., or to "all parts of the plant," are coded as Herbal
  • Edibles & Infused Products: Includes cannabis-infused food or beverages or other edible products containing cannabis
  • Tinctures: Includes liquids or sprays taken orally
  • Concentrates: Includes hashish, resin, oil, wax, and shatter
  • Other: Is displayed only when some other particular recreational product type is specified in the law, in which case that particular product type is identified in a row or jurisdiction note

This topic does not address topical tinctures, ointments, lotions, salves, and sprays, transdermal patches or suppositories, or other products used primarily for medical purposes. This topic also does not address products permitted for medical use in a jurisdiction.

3. Some Recreational Use of Cannabis laws have different effective dates for various provisions. For example, the date establishing a licensing system for the cultivation, testing, manufacturing, processing, distribution, transportation, and retail sale of recreational cannabis may be a year or more earlier than the date when recreational cannabis may lawfully be sold to the public. If significant terms of a State's policy become effective on one date, even though full implementation or enforcement is not effective until a later date, the earlier date is displayed in the comparison tables. In such cases, a Row Note is included to indicate the date when the program is to be fully implemented and enforceable.

4. The Cultivation Restrictions variable addresses State-level restrictions on the amount of recreational cannabis that commercial cultivators may cultivate. Non-commercial or home cultivation is not addressed; nor are restrictions on the location or siting of cultivation facilities. City, county, or tribal authorities may have the authority to impose their own, more restrictive requirements, which APIS does not address. State provisions vary with respect to the criteria by which cultivation amounts may be restricted – including but not limited to such factors as acreage, square footage, weight, number of plants, whether the setting is indoors versus outdoors or uses natural versus artificial lighting, etc. The Cultivation Restrictions variable addresses restrictions based on any of these criteria.

5. The Tax Imposed variable addresses State-level taxes imposed on the sale or transfer of recreational cannabis. Local taxes imposed by city, county, or tribal authorities are not included. Row or jurisdiction notes are used to indicate whether or not the State’s general sales tax applies to recreational cannabis sales, as well as the rate of that general sales tax.

6. The APIS treatment of Underage Prohibitions addresses only prohibitions that specifically reference cannabis or marijuana or THC. This review does not address statutory or regulatory provisions that prohibit underage purchase, possession, consumption, or furnishing only of "intoxicating substances" or "controlled substances" or "listed" or "scheduled" substances generally.

7. State provisions vary in the language used to prohibit furnishing recreational cannabis to minors. Some refer to any person and include all types of transactions between a provider and an underage receiver (e.g., making it illegal to sell, dispose, deliver, exchange, give, furnish, etc.). Other States' provisions are more limited as to the identified provider and specific prohibited acts. APIS treats all of these transactions as "furnishing” without addressing whether the prohibition applies to commercial as opposed to non-commercial providers. Examination of case law would be required to determine with certainty whether a prohibition applies to commercial as opposed to non-commercial providers, or both, in all States. APIS does not review case law.

8. The APIS treatment of Impaired Driving Prohibitions addresses only prohibitions that specifically reference cannabis or marijuana or THC. This review does not address statutory or regulatory provisions that prohibit operating a motor vehicle while "under the influence of an intoxicating substance" generally, or which prohibit youths from operating a motor vehicle while "under the influence of a controlled substance."

In addition, this review does not address the following issues related to impaired driving laws:

  • Penalties for violations of impaired driving laws
  • State and Federal laws related to enforcement of impaired driving laws
  • Provisions covering enhanced sanctions for violators whose THC level exceeds a specified level that is higher than the legal limit
  • Provisions related to repeat offenders
  • Impaired driving laws applicable to operators of commercial motor vehicles or other forms of transportation such as snowmobiles, nonmotorized bicycles, or watercraft
  • Federal law pertaining exclusively to the military or to military bases or military property
  • Tribal law or other separate laws for Indian reservations. Approximately 200 tribes across the nation have jurisdiction and responsibility for laws affecting their reservations

9. In the Local Authority column, jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis use but which have not specifically authorized either local option or local control are left blank. In the absence of a specific legislative statement regarding local authority, a court would have to decide whether or not State preemption prevents local action. (For more information on the preemption doctrine, see the About Alcohol Policy page.) APIS does not address case law.

Explanatory Notes and Limitations Applicable to All APIS Policy Topics

1. State law may permit local jurisdictions to impose requirements in addition to those mandated by State law. Alternatively, State law may prohibit local legislation on this topic, thereby preempting local powers. For more information on the preemption doctrine, see the About Alcohol Policy page. APIS does not document policies established by local governments.

2. In addition to statutes and regulations, judicial decisions (case law) also may affect alcohol-related policies. APIS does not review case law except to determine whether judicial decisions have invalidated statutes or regulations that would otherwise affect the data presented in the comparison tables.

3. APIS reviews published administrative regulations. However, administrative decisions or directives that are not included in a State's published regulatory codes may have an impact on implementation. This possibility has not been addressed by the APIS research.

4. Statutes and regulations cited in tables on this policy topic may have been amended or repealed after the specific date or time period specified by the site user's search criteria.

5. Policy changes in APIS are presented as of the date these changes take effect as law. Users should be aware that in some situations there may be a delay between the effective date of a law and the time a corresponding policy change occurs in practice. Because APIS research is based entirely on primary legal source materials (codified statutes and regulations and, on rare occasions, published court opinions), APIS is unable to accurately determine when policy changes may appear in practice.

6. If a conflict exists between a statute and a regulation addressing the same legal issue, APIS coding relies on the statute.

7. A comprehensive understanding of the data presented in the comparison tables for this policy topic requires examination of the applicable Row Notes and Jurisdiction Notes, which can be accessed from the body of the table via links in the Jurisdiction column.

(Policies in effect on: 1/1/2018)

The approach taken by the US government to the use of cannabis by its citizens has a long and varied history. See Policy Description generally.

In recent years the most significant element of this approach has been the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. 21 U.S.C. § 801, et seq.

Under the terms of the Act, as a Schedule I drug cannabis has been defined as having “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use … under medical supervision.” 21 U.S.C. § 812(b)(1).

The classification of cannabis under Federal law has had a number of important consequences. First, the classification as a Schedule I substance involves significant penalties for those who illegally manufacture, distribute or possess the drug (see, e.g., 21 U.S.C. § 841; 21 U.S.C. § 844; 21 U.S.C. § 846).

Second, although numerous States have legalized the use of cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use, the status of cannabis as a controlled substance under Federal law has, for the most part, not changed. (See below for information regarding the DEA’s 2018 reclassification of the epilepsy drug Epidiolex from Schedule I to Schedule V, and regarding the 2018 Farm Bill’s removal of low-THC hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.)

The classification of cannabis under Federal law has led to reports that cannabis businesses operating lawfully under State law have experienced difficulties in obtaining banking services, claiming tax deductions for operating expenses, and using the US mail, among other issues.

In an attempt to address this tension between Federal and State law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a series of memoranda providing guidance with respect to Federal marijuana enforcement policy in the context of State legalization initiatives.

In 2013 the DOJ indicated that it would focus its enforcement efforts on only those cannabis-related activities that threaten the following specified Federal priorities:

  1. Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  2. Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;
  3. Preventing the diversion of marijuana from States where it is legal under State law in some form to other States;
  4. Preventing State-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  5. Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
  6. Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  7. Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and
  8. Preventing marijuana possession or use on Federal property.

(See Memorandum from James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement, Aug. 29, 2013: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-update-marijuana-enforcement-policy ; https://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf .)

In a 2014 memorandum the DOJ indicated that investigations and prosecutions of financial institutions or individuals providing banking services to marijuana-related businesses should be subject to the same eight enforcement priorities outlined in the memorandum of August 29, 2013. (See Memorandum for All United States Attorneys from James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Guidance Regarding Marijuana Related Financial Crimes, Feb. 14, 2014: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-wdwa/legacy/2014/02/14/DAG%20Memo%20-%20Guidance%20Regarding%20Marijuana%20Related%20Financial%20Crimes%202%2014%2014%20(2).pdf .)

Another significant consequence of the classification of cannabis under Federal law has been that research institutions have experienced difficulty obtaining cannabis for investigating potential medical applications and treatment efficacy.

In response to this situation, in July 2015 a group of eight Democratic senators called for the Federal government to “facilitate scientific research on the potential health benefits of marijuana when used for medical purposes” by, among other things, reassessing marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I substance. (See Letter from Senators Warren, Merkley, Wyden, Mikulski, Markey, Boxer, Booker, and Gillibrand to HHS Secretary Burwell, ONDCP Director Botticelli, and DEA Acting Administrator Rosenberg, July 9, 2015: http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/HHS_ONDCP_DEA_Marijuana_letter.pdf .)

In August 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied two petitions to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. (See https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/12/2016-17954/denial-of-petition-to-initiate-proceedings-to-reschedule-marijuana?utm_campaign=pi+subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov and https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/12/2016-17960/denial-of-petition-to-initiate-proceedings-to-reschedule-marijuana?utm_campaign=pi+subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov .) The DEA did, however, announce a policy change designed to foster cannabis research by allowing additional entities to apply to become registered with DEA so that they may grow and distribute marijuana for FDA-authorized research purposes. (See https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/12/2016-17955/applications-to-become-registered-under-the-controlled-substances-act-to-manufacture-marijuana-to?utm_campaign=pi+subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov .)

In January 2018, the Justice Department rescinded the Aug. 29, 2013 and Feb. 14, 2014 memoranda referenced above, and directed Federal prosecutors to follow “the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions” when deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under Federal law. (See Memorandum for All United States Attorneys from Jefferson B. Sessions, Attorney General, Marijuana Enforcement, Jan. 4, 2018: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-issues-memo-marijuana-enforcement ; https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1022196/download .)

In June 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Epidiolex, an oral solution containing cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from the cannabis plant, for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, in patients two years of age and older. (See FDA News Release, June 25, 2018: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm611046.htm .) Following this action, the DEA rescheduled the Epidiolex formulation from Schedule I to Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act. (See DEA Final Order, Sep. 28, 2018: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/09/28/2018-21121/schedules-of-controlled-substances-placement-in-schedule-v-of-certain-fda-approved-drugs-containing .)

In December 2018, Congress passed and the President signed the 2018 Farm Bill (known as H.R.2, the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018”), which included a provision removing low-THC hemp (defined as cannabis with a THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis) from the Controlled Substances Act. (See Public Law 115-334 §§ 10113, 12619: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2/text .)

Despite numerous State initiatives legalizing cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use, and with the exception of low-THC hemp and the epilepsy drug Epidiolex noted above, the use of cannabis remains prohibited under Federal law as of December 2018.

 

FEDERAL CITATIONS AND RELEVANT TEXT EXCERPTS

21 U.S.C. § 812

§ 812. Schedules of controlled substances

(a) Establishment

There are established five schedules of controlled substances, to be known as schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. Such schedules shall initially consist of the substances listed in this section. * * *

(b) Placement on schedules; findings required

Except where control is required by United States obligations under an international treaty, convention, or protocol, in effect on October 27, 1970, and except in the case of an immediate precursor, a drug or other substance may not be placed in any schedule unless the findings required for such schedule are made with respect to such drug or other substance. The findings required for each of the schedules are as follows:

(1) Schedule I--

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.

(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

* * *

(c) Initial schedules of controlled substances

Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V shall, unless and until amended1 pursuant to section 811 of this title, consist of the following drugs or other substances, by whatever official name, common or usual name, chemical name, or brand name designated:

Schedule I

* * *

(c) Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances, or which contains any of their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:

(1) 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine.

(2) 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine.

(3) 3,4,5-trimethoxy amphetamine.

(4) Bufotenine.

(5) Diethyltryptamine.

(6) Dimethyltryptamine.

(7) 4-methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine.

(8) Ibogaine.

(9) Lysergic acid diethylamide.

(10) Marihuana.

(11) Mescaline.

(12) Peyote.

(13) N-ethyl-3-piperidyl benzilate.

(14) N-methyl-3-piperidyl benzilate.

(15) Psilocybin.

(16) Psilocyn.

(17) Tetrahydrocannabinols.

(18) 4-methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone).

(19) 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).

(20) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-E).

(21) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-D).

(22) 2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-C).

(23) 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-I).

(24) 2-[4-(Ethylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-2).

(25) 2-[4-(Isopropylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-4).

(26) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-H).

(27) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-nitro-phenyl)ethanamine (2C-N).

(28) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-(n)-propylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-P).

(d)(1) Unless specifically exempted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of cannabimimetic agents, or which contains their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation.

(2) In paragraph (1):

(A) The term “cannabimimetic agents” means any substance that is a cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 receptor) agonist as demonstrated by binding studies and functional assays within any of the following structural classes:

(i) 2-(3-hydroxycyclohexyl)phenol with substitution at the 5-position of the phenolic ring by alkyl or alkenyl, whether or not substituted on the cyclohexyl ring to any extent.

(ii) 3-(1-naphthoyl)indole or 3-(1-naphthylmethane)indole by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the indole ring, whether or not further substituted on the indole ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the naphthoyl or naphthyl ring to any extent.

(iii) 3-(1-naphthoyl)pyrrole by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the pyrrole ring, whether or not further substituted in the pyrrole ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the naphthoyl ring to any extent.

(iv) 1-(1-naphthylmethylene)indene by substitution of the 3-position of the indene ring, whether or not further substituted in the indene ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the naphthyl ring to any extent.

(v) 3-phenylacetylindole or 3-benzoylindole by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the indole ring, whether or not further substituted in the indole ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the phenyl ring to any extent.

(B) Such term includes--

(i) 5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (CP-47,497);

(ii) 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol or CP-47,497 C8-homolog);

(iii) 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-018 and AM678);

(iv) 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-073);

(v) 1-hexyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-019);

(vi) 1-[2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-200);

(vii) 1-pentyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (JWH-250);

(viii) 1-pentyl-3-[1-(4-methoxynaphthoyl)]indole (JWH-081);

(ix) 1-pentyl-3-(4-methyl-1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-122);

(x) 1-pentyl-3-(4-chloro-1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-398);

(xi) 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (AM2201);

(xii) 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-3-(2-iodobenzoyl)indole (AM694);

(xiii) 1-pentyl-3-[(4-methoxy)-benzoyl]indole (SR-19 and RCS-4);

(xiv) 1-cyclohexylethyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (SR-18 and RCS-8); and

(xv) 1-pentyl-3-(2-chlorophenylacetyl)indole (JWH-203).

* * *

21 U.S.C. § 841

§ 841. Prohibited acts A

(a) Unlawful acts

Except as authorized by this subchapter, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally--

(1) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or

(2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.

(b) Penalties

Except as otherwise provided in section 849, 859, 860, or 861 of this title, any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be sentenced as follows:

(1)(A) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) of this section involving--

* * *

(vii) 1000 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marihuana, or 1,000 or more marihuana plants regardless of weight;

* * *

such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which may not be less than 10 years or more than life and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance shall be not less than 20 years or more than life, a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $10,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $50,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both. If any person commits such a violation after a prior conviction for a felony drug offense has become final, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which may not be less than 20 years and not more than life imprisonment and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance shall be sentenced to life imprisonment, a fine not to exceed the greater of twice that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $20,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $75,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both. If any person commits a violation of this subparagraph or of section 849, 859, 860, or 861 of this title after two or more prior convictions for a felony drug offense have become final, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without release and fined in accordance with the preceding sentence. * * *

(B) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) of this section involving--

* * *

(vii) 100 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marihuana, or 100 or more marihuana plants regardless of weight;

* * *

such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which may not be less than 5 years and not more than 40 years and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance shall be not less than 20 years or more than life, a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $5,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $25,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both. If any person commits such a violation after a prior conviction for a felony drug offense has become final, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which may not be less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance shall be sentenced to life imprisonment, a fine not to exceed the greater of twice that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $8,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $50,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both. * * *

* * *

(D) In the case of less than 50 kilograms of marihuana, except in the case of 50 or more marihuana plants regardless of weight, 10 kilograms of hashish, or one kilogram of hashish oil, such person shall, except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $250,000 if the defendant is an individual or $1,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both. If any person commits such a violation after a prior conviction for a felony drug offense has become final, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a fine not to exceed the greater of twice that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $500,000 if the defendant is an individual or $2,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both. * * *

* * *

21 U.S.C. § 844

§ 844. Penalties for simple possession

(a) Unlawful acts; penalties

It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter. * * *

* * *

21 U.S.C. § 846

§ 846. Attempt and conspiracy

Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.

 

 

Source for all citations on this page: www.govinfo.gov/, a service of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO). Excerpts from the United States Code are current as of 2017. Excerpts from the Code of Federal Regulations are current as of 2018. Excerpts from Public Laws of Congress are current as of the year of enactment. The GPO’s Public Domain & Copyright Notice is available at https://www.govinfo.gov/about/policies#copyright .

 

 

Legalization

  1. Anderson, D.M., & Rees, D.I. (2014, Winter). The legalization of recreational marijuana: How likely is the worst-case scenario? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(1): 221-232.
  2. Anguelov, N. and McCarthy, M. (2018). From Criminalizing to Decriminalizing Marijuana: The Politics of Social Control. Lexington Books.
  3. Barry, R.A., & Glantz, S. (2016). A public health framework for legalized retail marijuana based on the U.S. experience: Avoiding a new tobacco industry. PLoS Med 13(9): e1002131. doi: 10.1371/. journal.pmed.1002131.
  4. Blake, D., & Finlaw, J. (2014, Summer). Marijuana legalization in Colorado: Learned lessons. Harvard Law and Policy Review, 8(2): 359-381.
  5. Carnevale, J.T., Kagan, R., Murphy, P.J., & Esrick, J. (2017). A practical framework for regulating for-profit recreational marijuana in US States: Lessons from Colorado and Washington. International Journal on Drug Policy, 42: 71-85. doi: 10.1016/J.Drugpo.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 31.
  6. Caulkins, J.P., Coulson, C.C., Farber, C., & Vesely, J.V. (2012). Marijuana legalization: Certainty, impossibility, both, or neither? Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, 5 (1): 1-27.
  7. Caulkins, J.P., Hawken, A., Kilmer, B., & Kleiman, M.A. (2012). Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford University Press.
  8. Caulkins, J.P., & Kilmer, B. (2016). Considering marijuana legalization carefully: Insights for other jurisdictions from analysis for Vermont. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.13289.
  9. Caulkins, J.P., Kilmer, B., Kleiman, M.A., MacCoun, R.J., Midgette, G., Oglesby, P., Pacula, R.L., & Reuter, P.H. (2015). Considering Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR864.
  10. Caulkins, J.P., Lee, M.A.C., & Kasunic, A.M. (2012). Marijuana legalization: Lessons from the 2012 state proposals. World Medical and Health Policy, 4: 4-34.
  11. Chapman, S.A., Spetz, J., Lin, J., Chan, K., & Schmidt, L.A. (2016). Capturing heterogeneity in medical marijuana policies: A taxonomy of regulatory regimes across the United States, Substance Use & Misuse, 51(9): 1174-84. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2016.1160932. Epub 2016 May 18.
  12. Choo, E.K. & Emery, S.L. (2017). Clearing the haze: the complexities and challenges of research on state marijuana laws. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1394, 55–73. Doi: 10.1111/nyas.13093. Epub 2016 Oct 10. PMID: 27723946.
  13. Danovitch, I. (2012). Sorting through the science on marijuana: Facts, fallacies, and implications for legalization. McGeorge Law Review, 43(1): 91-108.
  14. Davenport, S.S. & Caulkins, J.P. (2016). Evolution of the United States marijuana market in the decade of liberalization before full legalization. Journal of Drug Issues, 46: 411-427. First published on August 2, 2016. doi: 10.1177/0022042616659759.
  15. Dilley, J. A., Hitchcock, L., McGroder, N., Greto, L. A., & Richardson, S. M. (2017). Community-level policy responses to state marijuana legalization in Washington State.International Journal of Drug Policy, 42: 102-108. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.02.010.
  16. DiNardo, J., & Lemieux, T. (2001). Alcohol, marijuana, and American youth: The unintended consequences of government regulation. Journal of Health Economics, 20(6): 991-1010.
  17. Ghosh, T., Van Dyke, M., Maffey, A., Whitley, E., Gillim-Ross, L., & Wolk, L. (2016). The public health framework of legalized marijuana in Colorado. American Journal of Public Health, 106(1): 21-27.
  18. Ghosh, T.S., Vigil, D.I., Maffey, A., Tolliver, R., Van Dyke, M., Kattari, L., Krug, H., Reed, J.K., & Wolk, L. (2017). Lessons learned after three years of legalized, recreational marijuana: The Colorado experience. Preventive Medicine. pii: S0091-7435(17)30076-2. doi: 10.1016/J.Ypmed.2017.02.021. [Epub Ahead of Print.]
  19. Guttmannova, K., et al. (2015) Impacts of Changing Marijuana Policies on Alcohol Use in the United States. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2015. doi: 10.1111/acer.12942.
  20. Haffajee, R.L., MacCoun, R.J., & Mello, M.M. (2018). Behind Schedule - Reconciling Federal and State Marijuana Policy. N Engl J Med, 379 (6), 501-504. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1804408. Epub 2018 Jul 11. PMID: 29996065.
  21. Hall, W., & Lynskey, M. (2016). Evaluating the public health impacts of legalizing recreational cannabis use in the United States. Addiction, 111: 1764-1773. doi:10.1111/add.13428.
  22. Hudak, J. (2014, July 31). Colorado’s rollout of legal marijuana is succeeding. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Retrieved from: http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2014/07/colorado-marijuana-leg...
  23. Kilmer, B. (2014). Policy designs for cannabis legalization: Starting with the eight Ps. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 40(4): 259-261.
  24. Kilmer, B., Caulkins, J.P., Bond, B.M., & Reuter, P.H. (2010). Reducing drug trafficking revenues and violence in Mexico: Would legalizing marijuana in California help? Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP325.html
  25. Kilmer, B., Caulkins, J.P., Midgette, G., Dahlkemper, L., MacCoun, R.J., & Pacula, R.L. (2013). Before the grand opening: Measuring Washington State’s marijuana market in the last year before legalized commercial sales. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR466.html
  26. Kilmer, B., Caulkins, J.P., Pacula, R.L., MacCoun, R.J., & Reuter, P.H. (2010). Altered state? Assessing how marijuana legalization in California could influence marijuana consumption and public budgets. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP315.html
  27. Kilmer, B., & Pacula, R.L. (2017). Understanding and learning from the diversification of cannabis supply laws. Addiction, 112(7): 1128-1135. doi:10.1111/Add.13623. Epub 2016 Nov 27.
  28. Klitzner, M., Thomas, S., Schuler, J., Hilton, M., & Mosher, J. (2017). The new cannabis policy taxonomy on APIS: Making sense of the cannabis policy universe. Journal of Primary Prevention, 38(3), 295-314. doi: 10.1007/s10935-017-0475-6.
  29. Mead, A. (2017). The legal status of cannabis (marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD) under US law. Epilepsy & Behavior, 70 (Pt. B): 288-291. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.11.021. Epub 2017 Feb 4. PMID: 28169144.
  30. Pepin, D., Hoss, A., Schauer, G.L., & Holmes, C.B. (2017) Public use of recreational marijuana: A legal landscape of state law. Seton Hall Legislative Journal, 38(3), 41(2). Retrieved from: http://Scholarship.Shu.Edu/Shlj/Vol41/Iss2/2.
  31. Richter, K.P., & Levy, S. (2014, July 31). Big marijuana: Lessons from big tobacco. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(5): 399-401.
  32. Rogeberg, O. (2018). Prohibition, regulation or laissez faire: The policy trade-offs of cannabis policy. Int J Drug Policy, 56, 153-161. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.03.024. Epub 2018 Apr 7. PMID: 29636224.
  33. Sevigny, E. L. (2017). Marijuana liberalization, research, and policy: Contributions to current knowledge and practice. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 38(3), 211-216. doi: 10.1007/s10935-017-0480-9. PMID: 28573421.
  34. Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S., & Lenton, S. (2015). Issues in the implementation and evolution of the commercial recreational marijuana market in Colorado. The International Journal of Drug Policy, 27: 1-12.
  35. Wallach, P. (2014). Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Grows Knowledge, Not Just Pot: A Report on the State’s Strategy to Assess Reform. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Center for Effective Public Management. Retrieved from: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2014/08/25-washi...

Federal

  1. Cole, J.M. (2013). Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement: Memorandum for all U.S. Attorneys. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Retrieved from: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf
  2. Gravelle, J.G., & Lowry, S. (2014). Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from: http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43785.pdf
  3. Pacula, R.L., Kilmer, B., Wagenaar, A.C., Chaloupka, F.J., & Caulkins, J.P. (2014). Developing public health regulations for marijuana: Lessons from alcohol and tobacco. American Journal of Public Health, 104(6): 1021-1028.
  4. Roche, Jr., E.J. ((2013, Winter). Federal Income Taxation of Medical Marijuana Businesses. Tax Lawyer, 66(2).
  5. Room, R., Fischer, B., Hall, W., Lenton, S., & Reuter, P. (2010). Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Pricing

  1. Amlung, M., Reed, D., Morris, V., Aston, E., Metrik, J., & MacKillop, J. (2018). Price Elasticity of Illegal vs Legal Cannabis: A Behavioral Economic Substitutability Analysis. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.14437.
  2. Barry, R.A., Hiilamo, H., & Glantz, S.A. (2014). Waiting for the opportune moment: The tobacco industry and marijuana legalization. Milbank Quarterly, 92(2): 207-242.
  3. Ben Lakhdar, Christian, Nicolas G. Vaillant, and François-Charles Wolff. (2016). Price elasticity of demand for cannabis: does potency matter?. Addiction Research & Theory 24(4), 300-312. doi.org/10.3109/16066359.2016.1139699.
  4. Caulkins, J.P., Bao, Y., Davenport, S., Fahli, I., Guo, Y., Kinnard, K., Najewicz, M., Renaud, L., & Kilmer, B. (2018). Big data on a big new market: Insights from Washington State's legal cannabis market. Int J Drug Policy, 57, 86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.03.031. Epub 2018 Apr 27. PMID: 29709847.
  5. Hunt, P., & Pacula, R.L. (2017). Early impacts of marijuana legalization: An evaluation of prices in Colorado and Washington. Journal of Primary Prevention, 38(3): 221-248. doi: 10.1007/s10935-017-0471-x.
  6. Ours, V., Jan, C., & Williams, J. (2007). Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use. Journal of Health Economics, 26(3): 578-596.
  7. Ours, V., & Williams, J. (2012). The effects of cannabis use on physical and mental health. Journal of Health Economics, 31(4): 564-577.
  8. Pacula, R.L., & Lundberg, R. (2014). Why changes in price matter when thinking about marijuana policy: A review of the literature on the elasticity of demand. Public Health Reviews, 35(2): 1-18.
  9. Smart, R., Caulkins, J. P., Kilmer, B., Davenport, S., & Midgette, G. (2017).  Variation in cannabis potency and prices in a newly legal market: Evidence from 30 million cannabis sales in Washington state. Addiction, 112(12): 2167–2177. doi: 10.1111/Add.13886.

Taxation

  1. Ball, W. D. (2014, April 17). A new approach to marijuana regulation: In support of a potency tax. Jurist. Retrieved from: http://jurist.org/forum/2014/04/david-ball-marijuana-potency.php
  2. Barry, R.A., Hiilamo, H., & Glantz, S.A. (2014). Waiting for the opportune moment: The tobacco industry and marijuana legalization. Milbank Quarterly, 92(2): 207-242.
  3. Carnevale, J.T., Kagan, R., Murphy, P.J., & Esrick, J. (2017). A practical framework for regulating for-profit recreational marijuana in US States: Lessons from Colorado and Washington. Int J Drug Policy, 42, 71-85. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 31. PMID: 28366598.
  4. Caulkins, J.P., Hawken, A., Kilmer, B., Kleiman, M.A.R., Pfrommer, K., Pruess, J., & Shaw, T. (2013). High tax states: Options for gleaning revenue from legal cannabis. Oregon Law Review, 91: 1041-1068.
  5. Caulkins, J.P., Morris, E., & Ratnatunga, R. (2010). Smuggling and Excise Tax Evasion for Legalized Marijuana: Lessons from Other Excise Taxes. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WR766.html
  6. Gravelle, J.G., & Lowry, S. (2014). Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from: http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43785.pdf
  7. Hansen, B., Miller, K., && Weber, C. (2017). The taxation of recreational marijuana: Evidence from Washington state. NBER Working Paper No. 23632, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. doi: 10.3386/w23632.
  8. Roche, Jr., E.J. (2013, Winter). Federal income taxation of medical marijuana businesses. Tax Lawyer, 66(2). Retrieved from: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2308946

Underage Use

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  2. Borodovsky, J.T., Lee, D.C., Crosier, B.S., Gabrielli, J.L., Sargent, J.D., & Budney, A.J. (2017). U.S. cannabis legalization and use of vaping and edible products among youth. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 177: 299-306. doi: 10.1016/J.Drugalcdep.2017.02.017. Epub 2017 Jun 9.
  3. Buller, D.B., Woodall, W.G., Saltz, R., & Starling, R. (2016). Pseudo-underage assessment of compliance with identification regulations at retail marijuana outlets in Colorado. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(6), 868-872. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2016.77.868.
  4. Cerdá, M., Wall, M., Feng, T., Keyes, K.M., Sarvet, A., Schulenberg, J., O'Malley, P.M., Pacula, R.L., Galea, S., & Hasin, D.S. (2017). Association of state recreational marijuana laws with adolescent marijuana use. JAMA Pediatrics, 171(2): 142-149. doi: 10.1001/Jamapediatrics.2016.3624.
  5. Cermak, T.L., & Banys, P. (2016). Prevention of youthful marijuana use. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 48(1): 21-23. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2015.1117689. Epub 2016 Feb 18.
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  7. Chaloupka, F.J., & Laixuthai, A. (1997, Summer). Do youths substitute alcohol and marijuana? Some econometric evidence. Eastern Economic Journal, 23(3): 253-276.
  8. Crost, B., & Guerrero, S. (2012).The effect of alcohol availability on marijuana use: Evidence from the minimum legal drinking age. Journal of Health Economics, 31(1): 112-121.
  9. Crost, B., & Rees, D.I. (2013). The minimum legal drinking age and marijuana use: New estimates from the NLSY97. Journal of Health Economics, 32(2): 474-476.
  10. D’Amico, E.J., Tucker, J.S., Miles, J.N., Ewing, B.A., Shih, R.A., and Pedersen, E.R. (2016). Alcohol and marijuana use trajectories in a diverse longitudinal sample of adolescents: examining use patterns from age 11 to 17. Addiction. 111(10), 1825–35. doi: 10.1111/add.13442. Epub 2016 Jun 14. PMID: 27130360.
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  33. Salas-Wright, C.P., Oh, S., Goings, T.C., & Vaughn, M.G. (2017). Trends in perceived access to marijuana among adolescents in the United States: 2002-2015. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(5): 771-780. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2017.78.771.
  34. Salas-Wright, C.P., Vaughn, M.G. (2017). Marijuana use among young people in an era of policy change: what does recent evidence tell us? The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 43(3), 231–3. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2016.1226319. Epub 2016 Sep 30. PMID: 27689787.
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Impaired Driving

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  3. Arterberry, B.J., Treloar, H., & & Mccarthy, D.M. (2017). Empirical profiles of alcohol and marijuana use, drugged driving, and risk perceptions. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(6), 889–898. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2017.78.889.
  4. Arnold, L.S., & Tefft,, B.C. (2016). Driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana: beliefs and behaviors, United States, 2013–2015. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. https://aaafoundation.org/driving-influence-alcohol-marijuana-beliefs-be....
  5. Asbridge, M., Hayden, J.A., & Cartwright, J.L. (2012). Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk: Systematic review of observational studies and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal, 344: e536.
  6. Aston, E.R., Merrill, J.E., McCarthy, D.M., & Metrik, J. (2016). Risk factors for driving after and during marijuana use. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(2): 309-316.
  7. Aydelotte, J.D., Brown, L.H., Luftman, K.M., et al. (2017). Crash fatality rates after recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado. American Journal of Public Health. 107(8), 1329-1331. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303848. Epub 2017 Jun 22. PMID: 28640679.
  8. Azofeifa, A., Mattson, M.E., & Lyerla, R. (2015). Driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and alcohol and marijuana combined among persons aged 16–25 years—United States, 2002–2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(48): 1325-1329.
  9. Banta-Green, C., Rowhani-Rahbar, A., Ebel, B.E., Andris, L., & Qiu, Q. (2016). Cannabis use among drivers suspected of driving under the influence or involved in collisions: Analyses of Washington state patrol data. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. https://www.aaafoundation.org/ cannabis-useamong-drivers-suspected-driving-under-influence-orinvolved-collisions-analysis.
  10. Berning, A., Compton, R., & Wochinger, K. (2015, February). Results of the 2013–2014 National Roadside Survey of alcohol and drug use by drivers. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (DOT HS 812 118).
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  12. Chihuri, S., Li, G., & Chen, Q. (2017). Interaction of marijuana and alcohol on fatal motor vehicle crash risk: A case–control study. Injury Epidemiology, 4(1): 8. doi: 10.1186/S40621-017-0105-Z.
  13. Chow, R.M., Marascalchi, B., Abrams, W.B., Peiris, N.A., Odonkor, C.A., Cohen, S.P. (2018). Driving under the influence of cannabis: A framework for future policy. Anesth Analg. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003575. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 29933274.
  14. Couper, F. and Peterson, B. (2014). The prevalence of marijuana in suspected impaired driving cases in Washington state. Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 38, 569-574. doi: 10.1093/jat/bku090. PMID: 25217548.
  15. Cuttler, C., Sexton, M., & Mischley, L.K. (2018). Driving under the influence of cannabis: An examination of driving beliefs and practices of medical and recreational cannabis users across the United States. Cannabis. [S.l.], 1(2), 1-13. DOI: 10.26828/cannabis.2018.02.001. <https://publications.sciences.ucf.edu/cannabis/index.php/Cannabis/articl....
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  17. Fell, J.C., Kubelka, J., & Treffers, R. (2018). Advancing drugged driving data at the state level: State-by-state assessment. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. http://aaafoundation.org/advancing-drugged-driving-data-at-the-state-lev....
  18. Hall, W. (2018). How should we respond to cannabis-impaired driving? Drug and Alcohol Review. 37(1), 3–5. https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12651. PMID: 29345082.

  19. Hansen, B., Miller, K., and Weber, C. (2018). Early evidence on recreational marijuana legalization and traffic fatalities. NBER Working Paper No. 24417: National Bureau of Economic Research. http://www.nber.org/papers/w24417.
  20. Hartman, R.L., and Huestis, M.A. (2013). Cannabis effects on driving skills. Clinical Chemistry. 59(3), 478–492. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2012.194381. Epub 2012 Dec 7. PMID: 23220273.
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  22. Johnson, M.B. (2016). Are we using the right model of cannabis tolerance? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(6), 992-993. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2016.77.992. Published online: November 01, 2016.
  23. Kerr, W.C., Ye, Y., Subbaraman, M.S., Williams, E., & Greenfield, T.K. (2018). Changes in marijuana use across the 2012 Washington state recreational legalization: Is retrospective assessment of use before legalization more accurate? J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 79(3), 495-502. PMID: 29885159.
  24. Lacey, J.H., Kelley-Baker, T., Furr-Holden, D., Voas, R.B., Romano, E., Ramirez, A., Brainard, K., Moore, C., Torres, P., & Berning, A. (2009). 2007 National Roadside Survey of alcohol and drug use by drivers: Drug results. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (DOT HS 811 249).
  25. Li, M.C., Brady, J.E., DiMaggio, C.J., Lusardi, A.R., Tzong, K.Y., & Li, G. (2012). Marijuana use and motor vehicle crashes. Epidemiological Reviews, 34(1): 65-72.
  26. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Governors Highway Safety Association, & The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. (2017, June). Impact of the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana on the DWI system: Highlights from the expert panel meeting (Report No. DOT HS 812 430). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  27. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2016). Drivers’ use of marijuana in Washington state. Traffic Tech. Report No. DOT HS 812 307. www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/812307-TT-Marijuana_Use_in_WA.pdf.
  28. Neavyn, M.J., Blohm, E., Babu, K.M., & Bird, S.B. (2014). Medical marijuana and driving: A review. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 10(3): 269-279.
  29. Ramirez, A., Berning, A., Carr, K., et al. (2016). Marijuana, other drugs, and alcohol use by drivers in Washington state. Report No. DOT HS 812 299. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/812299-WashingtonStatedrugstudy.pdf.
  30. Romano, E., Torres-Saavedra, P., Voas, R.B., & Lacey, J.H. (2017). Marijuana and the risk of fatal car crashes: What can we learn from FARS and NRS data? Journal of Primary Prevention,  38(3): 315-328. doi: 10.1007/S10935-017-0478-3.
  31. Scherer, M., Harrell, P., & Romano, E. (2015). Marijuana and other substance use among motor vehicle operators: A latent class analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76(6): 916-23.
  32. Sewell, R.A., Poling, J., & Sofuoglu, M. (2009). The effect of cannabis compared with alcohol on driving. The American Journal on Addictions, 18(3): 185-193. doi:10.1080/10550490902786934.
  33. Sevigny, E.L. (2018). The effects of medical marijuana laws on cannabis-involved driving. Accid Anal Prev. 118, 57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.05.023. Epub 2018 Jun 7. PMID: 29885927.
  34. Steinemann, S., Galanis, D., Nguyen, T., & Biffl, W. (2018). Motor vehicle crash fatalities and  undercompensated care associated with legalization of marijuana. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 85(3), 566-571. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000001983. PMID: 29787529.
  35. Strat, Y.L., Dubertret, C., & Le Foll, B. (2015). Impact of age at onset of cannabis use on cannabis dependence and driving under the influence in the United States. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 76: 1-5.
  36. Tefft, B.C., Arnold, L.S., and Grabowski, J.G. (2016). Prevalence of marijuana involvement in fatal crashes: Washington, 2010 – 2014. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/PrevalenceOfMarijuanaI....
  37. Terry-McElrath, Y.M., O’Malley, P.M., & Johnson, L.D. (2014). Alcohol and marijuana use patterns associated with unsafe driving among U.S. high school seniors: High use frequency, concurrent use, and simultaneous use. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(3): 378-389.

Public Health Effects

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  2. Azofeifa, A., Mattson, M.E., Schauer, G., McAfee, T., Grant, A., & Lyerla, R. (2016). National estimates of marijuana use and related indicators – National survey on drug use and health, United States, 2002–2014. MMWR Surveill. Summ. 65(11), 1–28. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.ss6511a1. PMID: 27584586.
  3. Blanco, C., Hasin, D.S., Wall, M.M., Flórez-Salamanca, L., Hoertel, N., Wang, S., Kerridge, B.T., Olfson, M. (2016). Cannabis use and risk of psychiatric disorders: Prospective evidence from a U.S. national longitudinal study. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(4): 388-95.
  4. Braillon, A., & Bewley, S. (2018). Committee opinion no. 722: Marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 131(1), 164. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000002429. PMID: 28937574.

  5. Buckner, J.D., Zvolensky, M.J., Businelle, M.S., & Gallagher, M.W. (2018). Direct and indirect effects of false safety behaviors on cannabis use and related problems. The American Journal on Addictions. 27(1), 29–34. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajad.12659. Epub 2017 Dec 27. PMID: 29280237.
  6. Budney, A.J., & Borodovsky, J.T. (2017). The potential impact of cannabis legalization on the development of cannabis use disorders. Preventive Medicine. doi: 10.1016/J.Ypmed.2017.06.034. Published online: June 28, 2017.
  7. Dahlgren, M.K., Sagar, K.A., Racine, M.T., Dreman, M.W., & Gruber, S.A. (2016). Marijuana use predicts cognitive performance on tasks of executive function. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(2): 298-308.
  8. Davis, J.M., Mendelson, B., Berkes, J.J., Suleta, K., Corsi, K.F., & Booth, R.E. (2016). Public health effects of medical marijuana legalization in Colorado. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 50(3): 373-379.
  9. Degenhardt, L., Coffey, C., Romaniuk, H., Swift, W., Carlin, J.B., Hall, W.D., & Patton, G.C. (2013). The persistence of the association between adolescent cannabis use and common mental disorders into young adulthood. Addiction, 108: 124-133.
  10. El Marroun H., Brown, Q.L., Lund, I.O., Coleman-Cowger, V.H., Loree, A.M., Chawla, D., & Washio, Y. (2018). An epidemiological, developmental and clinical overview of cannabis use during pregnancy. Prev Med. 116, 1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.08.036. Epub 2018 Aug 29. Review. PMID: 30171964.
  11. Gordon, A.J., Conley, J.W., & Gordon, J.M. (2013). Medical consequences of marijuana use: A review of current literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 15: 419.
  12. Grant, T.M., Ph, D., Graham, J.C., Ph, D., Carlini, B.H., Ph, D., & Al, G.E.T. (2018). Use of marijuana and other substances among pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders: Changes in Washington state after marijuana legalization. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 79(1), 88–95.  http://www.jsad.com/doi/10.15288/jsad.2018.79.88. PMID: 29227236.
  13. Grucza, R.A., Agrawal, A., Krauss, M.J., Cavazos-Rehg, P.A., & Bierut, L.J. (2016). Recent trends in the prevalence of marijuana use and associated disorders in the United States. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(3): 300-301.
  14. Grucza R.A., Vuolo, M., Krauss, M.J., Plunk, A.D., Agrawal, A., Chaloupka, F.J., & Bierut, L.J. (2018). Cannabis decriminalization: A study of recent policy change in five U.S. states. Int J Drug Policy. 59, 67-75. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.06.016. Epub 2018 Jul 17. PMID: 30029073.
  15. Guttmannova, K., Lee, C.M., Kilmer, J.R., Fleming, C.B., Rhew, I.C., Kosterman, R., & Larimer, M.E. (2016). Impacts of changing marijuana policies on alcohol use in the United States. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(1): 33-46.
  16. Hall, W. (2015). What has research over the past two decades revealed about the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use? Addiction, 110: 19-35.
  17. Hall, W., & Degenhardt, L. (2009, October 17). Adverse Health Effects of Non-Medical Cannabis Use. Lancet, 374(9698): 1383-1391.
  18. Hall, W., & Pacula, R.L. (2003). Cannabis Use and Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
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  20. Hasin, D.S., Saha, T.D., Kerridge, B.T., Goldstein, R.B., Chou, S.P., Zhang, H., & Jung, J. (2015). Prevalence of marijuana use disorders in the United States between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(12): 1235-1242.
  21. Hennessy, G. (2018). Marijuana and pregnancy. The American Journal on Addictions. 27(1), 44–45. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajad.12671.
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  23. Kilmer, B. (2017). Recreational cannabis:  Minimizing the health risks from legalization. The New England Journal of Medicine, 376 (8): 705-707. doi: 10.1056/Nejmp1614783.
  24. Kim, H.S., Hall, K.E., Genco, E.K.,Van Dyke, M., Barker, E., & Monte, A.A. (2016). Marijuana tourism and emergency department visits in Colorado. New England Journal of Medicine, 374: 797-798.
  25. Livingston, M.D., Barnett, T.E., Delcher, C., &Wagenaar, A.C. (2017). Recreational cannabis legalization and opioid-related deaths in Colorado, 2000–2015. American Journal of Public Health, 107(11): 1827-1829. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304059.
  26. Lyman, D.O. (2016). Cannabis: The issue is control. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 48(1): 41-43. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2015.1117691. Epub 2016 Jan 22
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  28. Maxwell, J.C., & Mendelson, B. (2016). What do we know now about the impact of the laws related to marijuana? Journal of Addiction Medicine, 10(1): 3-12.
  29. Pacula, R.L., Jacobson, M., Maksabedian, E.J. In the weeds: A baseline view of cannabis use among legalizing states and their neighbours. Addiction. 111(6), 973–80. doi: 10.1111/add.13282. Epub 2016 Jan 26. PMID: 26687431.
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  34. Shi, Y., Meseck, K., & Jankowska, M.M. (2016). Availability of medical and recreational marijuana stores and neighborhood characteristics in Colorado. Journal of Addiction, (2016): Article ID 7193740. doi: 10.1155/2016/7193740.
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  36. Volkow, N.D., Baler, R.D., Compton, W.M., & Weiss, S.R.B. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370: 2219-2227.
  37. Volkow, N.D., Swanson, J.M., Evins, A.E., DeLisi, L.E., Meier, M.H., Gonzalez, R., Bloomfield, M.A., Curran, H.V., & Baler, R. (2016). Effects of cannabis use on human behavior, including cognition, motivation, and psychosis: A review. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(3): 292-7.
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