My take on cannabis legalization in Washington DC

Mistakes are inevitable. Repeating mistakes is unnecessary. Commercial legalization of alcohol was a mistake; let’s try something different for cannabis.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

4 thoughts on “My take on cannabis legalization in Washington DC”

  1. A “grow and give” model does not account for the need for healthier, smokeless alternatives. The green job in America is not wind or solar, Mark, it’s cannabis. Taxation is not a substitute for employment. Always grateful to hear your opinions, whether I agree or not.

  2. I read many of the comments and, sorry to say, they don't seem to like your ideas…at all.
    So again I am puzzled by the variety of reactions on this topic.

    Last week I read a longish article (can't locate it now) that interviewed illegal growers in WA .
    Several of them asserted vehemently that the legal week here is crap.
    But, but…it has % THC values to 4 sig figs!
    I'm beginning to get suspicious….

  3. Doesn't look good. See

    "We'll turn our attention to it, look at the experiences of other states to make sure we're not making mistakes that have already been made, and put a system in place," [Mayor-elect Bowser] said. "I see no reason why we wouldn't follow a regime similar to how we regulate and tax alcohol."

    The ballot initiative approved on Tuesday allows residents over the age of 21 to possess marijuana, grow six plants in their homes and transfer up to one ounce to another person without renumeration. It does not allow for marijuana to be sold, though the D.C. Council is considering a bill that would legalize and tax sales of the drug. One D.C. official estimated that the legal market for marijuana could be worth $130 million per year.

  4. This reform has interesting potential. Does the criminal jurisdiction of the Washington DC municipality include government buildings like the Capitol, the FBI headquarters and the White House?

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