Marijuana Policy Study
June 30, 2010 7:33 AM Subscribe
I'm going to be starting up a new research agenda on the economics of marijuana policy with an undergraduate student this fall, and I'm looking for materials which can help both me and my student navigate through the legal jungle that is US marijuana policy. I had a few questions.
posted by scunning to Law & Government (11 answers total)
1. What scholarly sources do we definitely need to begin with? I am primarily interested in legal-historical, non-hysterical, non-advocacy writings. Preferably published articles or books. The focus of our study will ultimately be on contemporary economic policy, and mainly medical marijuana laws.
2. I do not have a JD, though I do have a PhD in economics. That said, I have a very dim understanding of how laws work concrete in the US, and while this does not always pose a problem, for marijuana policy it repeatedly does. For instance, I do not understand even simple things like how it is possible that a local ordinance can make marijuana legal (for instance, Boulder Colorado), but simultaneously there exists federal laws making those laws illegal. Can someone suggest a primer with a legal conceptual framework to help me understand how these various levels of jurisdiction operate together, particularly as it relates to illicit substances?
3. Finally, on the relevant scientific theories regarding marijuana. Ultimately this study will attempt to identify the effect of legislative changes on social outcomes, such as crime, "gateway drug" movement into harder drugs, productivity, and other things to the degree these legislative changes can function econometrically to identify the effect of exogenous changes in marijuana access on those outcomes. But as I attempt to read through the literature, I'm constantly confronted with a huge amount of advocacy papers, and being new to this area, I was wanting some help focusing on what is considered essential, reliable reading. What are the definitive scientific papers on the effects of marijuana that we definitely need to be aware of?
4. In your opinion, what do you think is the unanswered and relevant policy questions regarding marijuana policy in the US?