Obesity remains a serious health problem and it is no secret that many people want to lose weight. Behavioral economists typically argue that “nudges” help individuals with various decisionmaking flaws to live longer, healthier, and better lives. In an article in the new issue of Regulation, Michael L. Marlow discusses how nudging by government differs from nudging by markets, and explains why market nudging is the more promising avenue for helping citizens to lose weight.
In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Donald Abrams, M.D., Director of Clinical Programs, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California; Robert DuPont, M.D., President, Institute for Behavior and Health; Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project; Moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute
Ten years ago, on March 17, 1999, an important government study was released regarding certain patients’ use of marijuana as prescribed by their doctors. The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, issued what was then the most comprehensive analysis of the scientific and medical literature about marijuana. The report stated, “The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.”Many medical experts continue to caution about harms that may result from smoking marijuana, though those harms need to be weighed against other harms that particular patients may be facing. In the political realm, the debate over the legal status of medical marijuana continues to rage. Since 1996, 12 states have legalized marijuana for medical use. What have medical scientists learned about marijuana over the past 10 years? And how have the politics on this contentious issue shifted at the federal and state level? Join us for a lively discussion of the science and politics of medical marijuana.