Marijuana, Federal Power, and the States: Symposium at Case Western Reserve University

For proponents of marijuana legalization, 2012 was a standout year. Voters in Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational possession of marijuana, and in the fall of 2014 more states appear poised to do so. This year, Washington and Colorado each rolled out their regulatory regimes for legalized marijuana—albeit with vastly differing approaches. Brookings scholars John Hudak  and Phil Wallach have examined the different implementation strategies of Colorado and Washington so far, including the treatment of marijuana edibles in Colorado and Washington’s emphasis on gathering data and policy learning.

However, in many respects the creation and implementation of marijuana policy are still uncharted waters. Although guidance from the federal government largely defers enforcement to the states, possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, creating a murky legal environment for business owners, banks, and local law enforcement.

To consider these issues, prominent academics will gather on September 12 for a one-day conference at Case Western Reserve University School of Law to discuss how theories of federalism should inform marijuana policy, the constitutional constraints on federal power, and implementation challenges surrounding financial instructions and advertising. Panelists and speakers include Mark Kleiman, Robert Mikos, Jonathan Adler, John Hudak, and Ernest Young, among many others.

Watch the live webcast here: