Oct 3

Past Event

Legal Marijuana? New Domestic and International Initiatives Challenge the Status Quo

Event Materials


Full Event


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States and around the world. The approach to marijuana enshrined in U.S. law and in the UN drug control regime—complete prohibition of production, sale, and use—is facing unprecedented challenges. Last year Gallup found that half of Americans supported the idea of making marijuana legal, up from 34 percent in 2001. This November, voters in the states of Colorado, Oregon, and Washington will consider ballot measures that would legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, the Uruguayan government has introduced legislation that would legalize and regulate the marijuana market in that country.

On October 3, in collaboration with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a forum examining the renewed debate over marijuana policy in the United States and abroad. A panel of experts, including the authors of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2012), considered the potential consequences of a shift to legal marijuana, including the variety of regulatory control options, possible federal responses to state-level policy changes, the interplay between U.S. marijuana policy and Mexican drug trafficking and violence, and the significance of marijuana legalization initiatives for the international drug control regime.

Event Agenda

  • Welcome and Overview

  • Moderator

    • John Walsh

      Senior Associate

      Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

  • Panelists

    • Jonathan P. Caulkins

      Stever Professor of Operations Research and Public Policy

      Carnegie Mellon University

    • Beau Kilmer

      Co-Director, Drug Policy Research Center

      Rand Corporation

    • Mark A. R. Kleiman

      Professor of Public Policy

      University of California, Los Angeles

    • Alejandro Madrazo

      Professor, Juridical Studies

      Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

  • Discussant

    • Thomas Schelling

      Nobel Laureate and Distinguished University Professor Emeritus

      University of Maryland


October 3, 2012

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications