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Of Green Institutions and Incremental Policies: Marijuana Regulatory Reform

Presentation Summary: In the last sixteen years, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana laws. Marijuana advocates have employed various strategies through the ballot initiative, legislative, and judicial processes. All these reforms are tantamount to incremental consideration and adoption of an illicit substance control issue lacking substantial institutional infrastructure. If state and local governments are to implement marijuana reform, what regulatory guidelines and agencies are they to employ in order to harness the economic windfall assumed via regulation? Last year Californians rejected legalization of the substance while voters in Oregon and Colorado will consider the matter in November. Concurrently, several medical marijuana campaigns are being conducted. What will the outcomes in Oregon and Colorado lend to understanding the incremental progress marijuana reformers have made so far? Have federal, state, or local governing institutions updated their resources so as to be ready for legalization and/or more medical allowance? Does more marijuana reform inherently cause backlash from illegal growers and what could this mean for “marijuana communities?”