Last updated on: 10/25/2021 | Author:


The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following sources.

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2. Troy Antonuci, "The Economics of Legalization," Daily Marijuana Observer, Apr. 6, 2017
3Lauren 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
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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
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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
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57.Melia Robinson, "Legal Marijuana Could Overtake Manufacturing in Job Creation by 2020,", Mar. 3, 2017
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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
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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
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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
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73.Josh Hamilton, "The Economic and Social Benefits of Taxing Marijuana,", Sep. 26, 2017
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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
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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
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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
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132.Christopher Ingraham, "Here's How Legal Pot Changed Colorado and Washington,", Oct. 13, 2016
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135.Keegan Hamilton, "How America's Legal Weed Is Changing the Black Market and Influencing Mexican Cartels,", Aug. 25, 2015
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140.James Wilt, "Growing Weed Is Pretty Bad for the Environment,", Apr. 18, 2017
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142.Laura Seaman, "Marijuana's Environmental Impacts,", July 10, 2015
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