Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
Voters in two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized marijuana for adults in 2012.
There is more public support for reform than ever before with new polls showing nearly half the country is in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana.
Countries that have adopted less punitive policies did not experience an increase in marijuana consumption or marijuana-related harm relative to more punitive countries.
Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system that taxes and regulates use for adults over 21 would yield $14 billion in combined annual savings and tax revenues.
We believe that the adult use of marijuana is a personal decision with which the state should not interfere.
Additionally, the criminalization of marijuana use disproportionately harms young people and people of color, sponsors massive levels of violence and corruption, and fails to curb youth access.
Legalizing and regulating marijuana will bring the nation's largest cash crop under the rule of law, creating jobs and economic opportunities in the formal economy instead of the illicit market. Scarce law enforcement resources that could be better used to protect public safety would be preserved while reducing corrections and court costs. State and local governments would acquire significant new sources of tax revenue from regulating marijuana sales.
The Drug Policy Alliance advocates marijuana legalization through a well-regulated market for marijuana production and distribution. DPA is shaping the burgeoning national dialogue about how to best achieve legalization and serving as a national thought leader for viable alternatives to failed prohibitionist policies. DPA staff advise elected officials, regulators, and other advocates on available options and their implications for state and local governments. We also seek to enact change on the state and federal level through ongoing legislative efforts and through high-profile ballot initiatives in upcoming election cycles.