Last updated on: 1/21/2019 | Author:

Footnotes & Sources

The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):

  1. Alan Pyke, “Marijuana’s $2.4 Billion Impact in Colorado Is a Lesson for 5 States Considering Legalization,”, Oct. 28, 2016
  2. Troy Antonuci, “The Economics of Legalization,” Daily Marijuana Observer, Apr. 6, 2017
  3. Lauren Dixon, “How Growing Marijuana Legalization Could Affect the Economy,”, Dec. 20, 2016
  4. RCG Economics and Marijuana Policy Group, “Nevada Adult-Use Marijuana: Economic & Fiscal Benefits Analysis,”, July 2016
  5. Patrick McGreevy, “Legal Marijuana Could Be a $5-Billion Boon to California’s Economy,”, June 11, 2017
  6. University of California Agricultural Issues Center, “Economic Costs and Benefits of Proposed Regulations for the Implementation of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA),”, Feb. 23, 2017
  7. Alicia Wallace, “Report: America’s Marijuana Industry Headed for $24 Billion by 2025,”, Feb. 22, 2017
  8. Jay Barmann, “80 Percent of Medical Marijuana Tested at Recent NorCal Conference Is Tainted with Mold, Other Toxins,”, Aug. 31, 2017
  9. Lisa M. Krieger, “A Flower’s Long Journey: How Legal Weed Goes from Seed to Sale,”, June 20, 2017
  10. American Public Health Association (APHA), “Regulating Commercially Legalized Marijuana as a Public Health Priority,” Nov. 18, 2014
  11. Washington State Legislature, “WAC 314-55-105: Packaging and Labeling Requirements,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  12. George Sam Wang, et al., “Unintentional Pediatric Exposures to Marijuana in Colorado, 2009-2015,” JAMA Pediatrics, Sep. 6, 2016
  13. Bureau of Cannabis Control, “Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2017)
  14. Brooke Staggs, “Here Are the Rules for Legal Marijuana in California Once Law Goes into Effect Jan. 1,”, Nov. 16, 2017
  15. Marijuana Policy Group, “The Economic Impact of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado,”, Oct. 2016
  16. Christopher Ingraham, “The Marijuana Industry Created More Than 18,000 New Jobs in Colorado Last Year,”, Oct. 27, 2016
  17. United States Border Patrol, “Sector Profile – Fiscal Year 2015 (Oct. 1st through Sept. 30th),” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  18. Christopher Ingraham, “Legal Marijuana Is Finally Doing What the Drug War Couldn’t,”, Mar. 3, 2016
  19. John Burnett, “Legal Pot in the U.S. May Be Undercutting Mexican Marijuana,”, Dec. 1, 2014
  20. Earl Blumenauer, “The Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Policy on Marijuana,”, 2017-2018
  21. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “The War on Marijuana in Black and White,”, June 2013
  22. Christopher Ingraham, “Justin Trudeau May Have Made the Best Case for Legal Pot Ever,”, June 10, 2016
  23. Michele Baggio, Alberto Chong, and Sungoh Kwon, “Helping Settle the Marijuana and Alcohol Debate: Evidence from Scanner Data,”, Dec. 11, 2017
  24. Jesse Wegman, “The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests,”, July 28, 2014
  25. Drug Policy Alliance, “Drug War Statistics,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  26. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “California: Marijuana Infractions Unfairly Enforced Against People of Color,”, May 31, 2016
  27. Brendan Cheney, “For Non-White New Yorkers, Marijuana Arrests More Often Lead to Conviction,”, May 9, 2017
  28. German Lopez, “Everyone Does Drugs, but Only Minorities Are Punished for It,”, July 1, 2014
  29. D. Mark Anderson and Daniel I. Rees, “The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: How Likely Is the Worst-Case Scenario?,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  30. University of California, Irvine, The Paul Merage School of Business, “Closing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Increases Crime, According to New Study,”, July 11, 2017
  31. Melissa Santos, “What Actually Happened to Violent Crime after Washington Legalized Marijuana,”, July 26, 2017
  32. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “Alcohol, Drugs and Crime,”, June 27, 2015
  33. Jonathan P. Caulkins, Beau Kilmer, and Mark A.R. Kleiman, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2016
  34. US Department of Justice, “Violence between Intimates: Domestic Violence,”, Nov. 1994
  35. Ruth Graham, “Is Marijuana Good for Public Health?,”, Oct. 8, 2014
  36. D. Mark Anderson, et al., “Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption,”, Oct. 2012
  37. Alejandro Azofeifa, et al., “National Estimates of Marijuana Use and Related Indicators – National Survey on Drug Use and Health, United States, 2002–2014,”, Sep. 2, 2016
  38. Jim Dryden, “As More States Legalize Marijuana, Adolescents’ Problems with Pot Decline,”, May 24, 2016
  39. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Comparison of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Population Percentages,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  40. Christopher Ingraham, “After Legalization, Teen Marijuana Use Drops Sharply in Colorado,”, Dec. 21, 2016
  41. Justin Gardner, “CDC Study Shows Pot Legalization Dramatically Decreases Drug Use,”, Sep. 8, 2016
  42. Marijuana Policy Project, “Teen Marijuana Use Does Not Increase Following Marijuana Policy Reforms,” (accessed Feb. 5, 2018)
  43. MaristPoll, “Yahoo News/Marist Poll: Weed & The American Family,”, Apr. 17, 2017
  44. David L. Nathan, “Why Marijuana Should Be Legal for Adults,”, Jan. 9, 2013
  45. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Alcohol Poisoning Deaths,”, Jan. 2015
  46. Drug Enforcement Administration, “Drug Fact Sheet: Marijuana,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  47. Nick Wing, “No, We Didn’t Just See the First Marijuana Overdose Death,”, Nov. 17, 2017
  48. David Nutt, Leslie King, and Lawrence Phillips, “Drug Harms in the UK: A Multicriteria Decision Analysis,” The Lancet, Nov. 1, 2010
  49. Drug Policy Alliance, “So Far, So Good What We Know about Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C.,”, 2016
  50. Debra Borchardt, “$1 Billion in Marijuana Taxes Is Addictive to State Governors,”, Apr. 11, 2017
  51. Larson Silbaugh, “Distribution of Marijuana Tax Revenue,”, July 2016
  52. Jennifer Calfas, “How Colorado’s Booming Marijuana Industry Is Helping Fight Homelessness and Drug Addiction,”, June 1, 2017
  53. CBS News, “Tax Revenue from Colorado Pot Helps Fund Community Projects, Scholarships,”, Apr. 20, 2017
  54. Bruce Barcott and Gage Peake, “Part 2, How Many Jobs Depend on Legal Cannabis?,”, Jan. 5, 2017
  55. Debra Borchardt, “Marijuana Industry Projected to Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing by 2020,”, Feb. 22, 2017
  56. New Frontier Data, “The Cannabis Industry Annual Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook,”, 2017
  57. Melia Robinson, “Legal Marijuana Could Overtake Manufacturing in Job Creation by 2020,”, Mar. 3, 2017
  58. United States Department of Labor, “Projections of Industry Employment, 2014–24,”, Dec. 2015
  59. Daniel Wheaton, “Legal Weed Could Generate More Than 100,000 Jobs,”, Nov. 1, 2016
  60. Jeffrey A. Miron, “The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition,”, Feb. 2010
  61. David G. Evans, “The Economic Impacts of Marijuana Legalization,”, Dec. 30, 2013
  62. Stephen Downing, “Drug War: What Prohibition Costs Us [Blowback],”, Oct. 6, 2011
  63. Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert, “The Consequences and Costs of Marijuana Prohibition,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  64. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “Court Filings for Adult Marijuana Possession Plummet,”, Mar. 19, 2014
  65. Ronnie Cohen, “After States Legalized Medical Marijuana, Traffic Deaths Fell,”, Dec. 28, 2016
  66. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Cannabis/Marijuana (Delta 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC),” (accessed via, Jan. 8, 2018)
  67. Justin McCarthy, “Record-High Support for Legalizing Marijuana Use in U.S.,”, Oct. 25, 2017
  68. Jennifer De Pinto, et al., “Marijuana Legalization Support at All-Time High,”, Apr. 20, 2017
  69. Christopher Ingraham, “How Many Americans Regularly Use Pot? The Number Is, Errr, Higher Than You Think,”, Apr. 20, 2017
  70. Drew Desilver, “Feds May Be Rethinking the Drug War, but States Have Been Leading the Way,”, Apr. 2, 2014
  71. Brian Heuberger, “Despite Claims, Data Show Legalized Marijuana Has Not Increased Crime Rates,”, Mar. 22, 2017
  72. David Boaz, “Drug Legalization and the Right to Control Your Body,”, Oct. 25, 2007
  73. Josh Hamilton, “The Economic and Social Benefits of Taxing Marijuana,”, Sep. 26, 2017
  74. NORML, “Marijuana and Psychomotor Impairment,” (accessed Feb. 5, 2018)
  75. Desirae Hoover, “4 Reasons Why Legalizing Marijuana Could Be the Solution to America’s Problems,”, Sep. 6, 201
  76. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Drowning — United States, 2005–2009,”, May 18, 2012
  77. Alex Suskind, “Cory Booker Explains Why He’s Making Legal Weed His Signature Issue,”, Oct. 17, 2017
  78. Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact,”, Sep. 2016
  79. National Public Radio (NPR), “Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years,”, Oct. 10, 2011
  80. University of Rochester Medical Center, “Understanding the Teen Brain,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  81. Olivier Marie and Ulf Zolitz, “‘High’ Achievers? Cannabis Access and Academic Performance,”, Mar. 2015
  82. Christopher Ingraham, “More People Were Arrested Last Year over Pot Than for Murder, Rape, Aggravated Assault and Robbery — Combined,”, Sep. 26, 2017
  83. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, “Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Is Linked to Increased Crashes,”, June 22, 2017
  84. Christopher Ingraham, “What Marijuana Legalization Did to Car Accident Rates,”, June 26, 2017
  85. Gaby Galvin, “Study: Legal Pot Linked to Increase in Auto Collisions,”, June 22, 2017
  86. David Migoya, “Exclusive: Traffic Fatalities Linked to Marijuana Are up Sharply in Colorado. Is Legalization to Blame?,”, Aug. 25, 2017
  87. Noelle Crombie, “Legal Pot in Oregon: One Year Later,”, Feb. 23, 2017
  88. Katy Steinmetz, “420 Day: Why There Are So Many Different Names for Weed,”, Apr. 20, 2017
  89. Oxford English Dictionary, “Marijuana,” (accessed Jan. 28, 2018)
  90. Lily Rothmans, “Here’s What People Called Pot in the 1940s,”, Apr. 20, 2015
  91. National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Is Marijuana Addictive?,”, Dec. 2017
  92. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “All Injuries,”, May 3, 2017
  93. Steve Bloom, “Dr. Drew on Pot: ‘It’s Extremely Addictive… for Some People’,”, Sep. 20, 2014
  94. American Society of Addiction Medicine, “Public Policy Statement on Marijuana, Cannabinoids and Legalization,” (accessed Jan. 8, 2018)
  95. National Institutes of Health, “Marijuana Withdrawal Is Real,”, Apr. 2, 2015
  96. Udo Bonnet and Ulrich W. Preuss, “The Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome: Current Insights,”, Apr. 27, 2017
  97. Norman S. Miller, et al., “Marijuana Addictive Disorders and DSM-5 Substance-Related Disorders,”, Jan. 16, 2017
  98. Steven S. Davenport and Jonathan P. Caulkins, “Evolution of the United States Marijuana Market in the Decade of Liberalization Before Full Legalization,” Journal of Drug Issues, Aug. 2, 2016
  99. Robert Deitch, Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History, 2003
  100. John Ingold, “Kids’ Emergency Room Visits for Marijuana Increased in Colorado after Legalization, Study Finds,”, Oct. 2, 2016
  101. Gillian Mohney, “Colorado Marijuana Report Reveals Increase in Hospital Visits after Legalization,”, Apr. 19, 2016
  102. Colorado Department of Public Safety, “Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings,”, Mar. 2016
  103. University of Washington, “Factors That Might Attract Children to Marijuana Edibles,”, Aug. 25, 2016
  104. Abby Phillip, “More and More Little Kids Are Finding Mom and Dad’s (Legal) Marijuana Stash,”, June 9, 2015
  105. Robert J. MacCoun and Michelle M. Mello, “Half-Baked – The Retail Promotion of Marijuana Edibles,”, Mar. 12, 2015
  106. Madeline H. Meier, et al., “Persistent Cannabis Users Show Neuropsychological Decline from Childhood to Midlife,”, Oct. 2, 2012
  107. Northwestern University, “Casual Marijuana Use Linked to Brain Abnormalities in Students,”, Apr. 15, 2014
  108. Yvette Brazier, “Marijuana Use and Schizophrenia: New Evidence Suggests Link,”, Dec. 26, 2016
  109. National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Is There a Link between Marijuana Use and Psychiatric Disorders?,”, Dec. 2017
  110. Jodi M. Gilman, et al., “Cannabis Use Is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users,”, Apr. 16, 2014
  111. Randye Hoder, “Recreational Pot Use Harmful to Young People’s Brains,”, Apr. 15, 2014
  112. Andrew Johns, “Substance Misuse Papers: Psychiatric Effects of Cannabis,”, Feb. 2001
  113. H. Thomas, “A Community Survey of Adverse Effects of Cannabis Use,”, Nov. 1996
  114. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Health Effects,”, Jan. 26, 2017
  115. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, “Respiratory Effects of Marijuana,” (accessed Jan. 9, 2018)
  116. Reuters, “Cannabis Bigger Cancer Risk Than Cigarettes: Study,”, Jan. 29, 2008
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  118. R.N. Bloor, “Ammonia Release from Heated ‘Street’ Cannabis Leaf and Its Potential Toxic Effects on Cannabis Users,”, Oct. 2008
  119. David Smith, et al., “Release of Toxic Ammonia and Volatile Organic Compounds by Heated Cannabis and Their Relation to Tetrahydrocannabinol Content,”, 2015
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  124. Sean Whaley, “More Incidents of Workplace Pot Use Reported after Legalization in Colorado, Experts Say,”, June 10, 2016
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  129. Kurt Isaacson, “Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Is Bad for Public Health,”, Nov. 2, 2016
  130. Marty Nemko, “Legalize Pot? You Must Be High,”, Nov. 7, 2014
  131. Office of National Drug Control Policy, “The Public Health Consequences of Marijuana Legalization,” (accessed via, Jan. 9, 2018)
  132. Christopher Ingraham, “Here’s How Legal Pot Changed Colorado and Washington,”, Oct. 13, 2016
  133. Pew Research Center, “In Debate over Legalizing Marijuana, Disagreement over Drug’s Dangers,”, Apr. 14, 2015
  134. Smart Approaches to Marijuana, “Lessons Learned after 4 Years of Marijuana Legalization,”, Oct. 2016
  135. Keegan Hamilton, “How America’s Legal Weed Is Changing the Black Market and Influencing Mexican Cartels,”, Aug. 25, 2015
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  137. Transnational Institute, “The UN Drug Control Conventions: A Primer,”, Oct. 8, 2015
  138. Jonathan Rauch, “Marijuana Legalization Poses a Dilemma for International Drug Treaties,”, Oct. 16, 2014
  139. Wells Bennett and John Walsh, “Marijuana Legalization Is an Opportunity to Modernize International Drug Treaties,”, Oct. 2014
  140. James Wilt, “Growing Weed Is Pretty Bad for the Environment,”, Apr. 18, 2017
  141. Melanie Sevcenko, “Pot Is Power Hungry: Why the Marijuana Industry’s Energy Footprint Is Growing,”, Feb. 27, 2016
  142. Laura Seaman, “Marijuana’s Environmental Impacts,”, July 10, 2015
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  145. Craig M. Thompson, et al., “An Ever-Changing Ecological Battlefield,”, May/June 2017
  146. Niraj Chokshi, “Q&A: Mark Kleiman, UCLA Expert on the Legalization of Marijuana,”, July 8, 2014
  147. Mark A.R. Kleiman, “We’re Legalizing Weed Wrong,”, Nov. 7, 2016
  148. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, “Regulating Medical Marijuana Markets,”, Jan. 25, 2017
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  150. Christopher Ingraham and Tauhid Chappell, “Vermont Just Became the 9th State to Legalize Marijuana. Here’s What Makes It Different.,”, Jan. 22, 2018
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  152. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “AACAP Releases Updated Policy Statement on Marijuana Legalization,”, Oct. 10, 2017
  153. American Academy of Pediatrics, “Marijuana Legalization,”, July 2017
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  158. Patrick McGreevy, “A Proposition to Legalize Pot Raises DUI Concerns: ‘We Are Going to Start Losing Folks in Astronomical Numbers,'”, Oct. 18, 2016
  159. Tamra Johnson, “Fatal Road Crashes Involving Marijuana Double after State Legalizes Drug,”, May 2016
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  163. Allison Tierney, “Halifax Councillor Calls out ‘Marijuana’ as a Racist Term,”, Oct. 25, 2017
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  166. Christopher Bergland, “Does Long-Term Cannabis Use Stifle Motivation?,”, July 2, 2013
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