Director of State Policies at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
Pro to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
"Taxing and regulating marijuana allows for control, which is a far better approach than prohibition for marijuana consumers, workers, communities, and the environment.
Only in a regulated system can the government ensure marijuana is tested for dangerous pesticides and contaminants. Regulation also allows for environmental and worker protections: When marijuana is prohibited, it is often grown in environmentally sensitive locations where streams are diverted, toxic waste is left behind, and illegal rodenticides enter the food chain and poison predators — including endangered animals. Relegating marijuana to the illicit market leaves workers vulnerable to sexual assault, wage theft, violence, and felony charges.
With regulation, governments control where marijuana is sold, when it is sold, and to whom it is sold. They decide what types of products to allow — and many ban products likely to appeal to minors — and how cannabis must be packaged and labeled. Regulators can also require information be disseminated with cannabis and can fund honest education campaigns to educate marijuana consumers and youth about making healthy decisions.
Ending marijuana prohibition also frees up law enforcement resources, allowing police to focus on crimes with victims rather than fighting an unwinnable 80-year-old war against a substance that is safer than alcohol."
Experts Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to marijuana or drug policy. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to drug, crime, or public health issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), Nov. 2008-present
Assistant Director of State Policies, MPP, Apr. 2006-Nov. 2008
Attorney and Legislative Analyst, MPP, 2003-2006
Research Assistant, Loyola School of Law, 2001-2003
William Crowe Scholar, 2003
Recipient, Gillis Long Public Service Award, 2003
JD, Loyola School of Law, New Orleans, LA
BA, Public Policy and International Studies, Michigan State University