Experts to discuss policy implications of legalized marijuana in the United States

WASHINGTON— Approximately half of U.S. states now have some form of legalized marijuana, and four states have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana use. With a rising number of states considering ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana completely, leading stakeholder experts will explore the positive and negative consequences of marijuana legalization, in terms of both medical and recreational use, at a policy forum at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., May 20.

The forum, titled, "Legalized Marijuana in the United States: Resulting Policy Implications," will be held from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT at the National Press Club Holeman Lounge.

Legalization of marijuana gives rise to a new industry, affecting health and social service systems and state economies. The forum provides an opportunity to discuss the roles of public sector agencies in managing the adoption of recreational and medical marijuana use through appropriate measures.

"Policymakers are exploring ways in which lessons from tobacco and alcohol can be applied to marijuana to reduce unintended negative consequences of legalization, such as driving while under the influence of marijuana, accidental ingestion, and use by minors," said Kevin Davis, senior research economist at RTI International. "It's also important to recognize the possibility of positive outcomes of legalization, such as reductions in prescription pain reliever abuse or cost savings from reduced imprisonment for minor marijuana use. More research is needed to better understand and quantify the negative and positive effects of legalization."

The panel includes:

  • Rick Dart, MD, PhD, Director, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center of Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and Executive Director, Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS) System
  • Kevin Davis, Senior Research Economist, RTI International
  • Andrew Freedman, JD, Director of Marijuana Coordination, State of Colorado
  • Randy Simmons, Deputy Director, Washington State Liquor Control Board

Scott Novak, PhD, senior developmental epidemiologist at RTI is the moderator of the program. Tim Gabel, executive vice president of Social, Statistical and Environmental Sciences at RTI, will open the forum.

To attend the policy forum, please register here. The forum will also be live streamed as a webinar. Find more information about the event here

marijuana and a a joint

Highlights

  • Leading stakeholder experts will explore the positive and negative consequences of marijuana legalization at a policy forum hosted by RTI
  • The forum will be held from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT at the National Press Club and via webinar