Cannabis Policy at Cato Unbound

This month at Cato Unbound, we mark a milestone in U.S. public policy. Last month, for the first time ever, the Gallup polling organization recorded 50% support for legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana to adults. (Medical marijuana has had majority approval for many years now.)

So why now? What’s changed lately to bring so many people around? And where are we going from here?

To discuss these questions, we’ve invited a quartet of marijuana reform activists to a roundtable discussion. Each will present an essay on a different facet of marijuana policy, and our conversation this month will be about political strategy, possible future trends, and the interplay among various sub-issues in the field.

Kicking things off will be Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), writing about the biomedical aspects of cannabis and its prohibition. He will be followed by former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, now with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, who will discuss public education and messaging; and Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, who will discuss upcoming ballot initiatives and legislative developments.

Although each of the four is fairly well in the same camp on this issue, each also brings to the table different experiences, different perspectives, and different areas of expertise. We hope you will find a discussion among them educational and thought-provoking.

As always, Cato Unbound readers are encouraged to take up our themes and enter into the conversation on their own websites and blogs, or at other venues. Trackbacks are enabled. We also welcome your letters and may publish them at our option. Send them to jkuznicki at cato.org