RAND drug policy expert Dr. Beau Kilmer thinks that the Department of Justice’s decision not to challenge marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington could
encourage other states and other countries to consider the radical shift from marijuana prohibition to allowing the development of a commercial marijuana industry. But it’s critical to note those are not the only choices. Marijuana policy isn’t a black or white issue. Indeed, it’s more like 420 shades of grey.
The non-commercial policy options he mentions include home growing, state monopolies, and allowing marijuana production only by “for benefit” organizations.
He also has some advice for states that might legalize in the near future:
Policy options become even greyer when you realize that decisions about marijuana don’t have to be permanent. But once for-profit companies and their lobbyists get entrenched, it could be harder to make changes. Thus, pioneering jurisdictions may want to consider incremental approaches that begin with non-profit regimes.
It’s a good read by an important thinker in this area; you can catch it now on CNN’s website.