Day 1

Day 1 – Sunday, April 17:

9:30 AM – 9:55 AM

Greetings and Words from the Czech Minister of Health
Session A | Auditorium

Opening Greetings From:

  • Brad Rowe, President & Managing Director, BOTEC Analysis
  • Mark Kleiman, Professor of Public Policy, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management
  • Rosalie Pacula, Vice President, International Society for the Study of Drug Policy

Featured Speaker:

  • Svatopluk Nemecek, Minister of Health, Czech Republic

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Regulating Cannabis as a Temptation Good: Learning from Other Vices
Session A | Auditorium

The justifications offered for legal controls on the availability of cannabis have focused on clinical ideas about addiction, dependency, or substance use disorder. But there is another lens through which to view the cannabis use and other activities such as smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and gambling: they could be thought of as “temptation goods,” meaning that they are more prone than the general run of activities to generate unwanted habits and to cause some consumers to make choices they will predictably later regret.

  • In the abstract, how could temptation goods be regulated and taxed?
  • How do policies about temptation goods resemble, and how do they differ from, policies toward goods that produce external costs?
  • What are the lessons to be learned from the regulation of other temptation goods, such as gambling and prostitution?
  • Do other countries have policies towards temptation goods that might make national legalization more feasible than in the US?
  • Viewing cannabis as a temptation good, what are the best regimes for regulating it?

Featured Speaker:


  • David Courtwright, Presidential Professor, University of North Florida
  • Wayne Hall, Director, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, The University of Queensland
  • Rob MacCoun, Professor of Law, Stanford University


  • Mark Kleiman, Professor of Public Policy, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Cannabis Legislation & Initiatives 2016
Session A | Auditorium

California, Massachusetts, and Michigan are among 20 states—including Mississippi—where voters may decide on cannabis legalization in 2016. Vermont legislators are also wrestling with the problem. This panel takes a look at the myriad of initiatives on the ballot this year, including their merits, their pitfalls, and their electoral prospects.

  • Which initiatives have the best chance of passing? Which are least likely?
  • Who are the key groups and funders on both sides? What are their goals? The tensions among them? How much influence do they wield? What are the key assets and strategies of the two sides?
  • Are there any cannabis initiatives not related to legalization?



Cannabis Legalization and Markets: Early Insights and New Projections
Session B | Room C201/202
ISSDP Session

This ISSDP sponsored panel will present findings from four independent studies examining the impact of recreational and medical Cannabis markets in three states (Washington, Colorado and California) along a variety of dimensions. The papers will examine regulatory factors that influence the revenue received from the cannabis industry, cross-overs between medical and recreational consumers, the impact of new market entrants on the dynamics and outputs of these markets, and the promulgation of local policies that have emerged in California in efforts to regulate it’s medical market.


  • Davide Fortin, Copenhagen Business School
  • Cannabis Cannibalization: Are Patients Using the Recreational Market in Colorado?

  • Raanan Kagan, Carneval Associates
  • Regulating Marijuana in California

  • Greg Midgette, RAND Corporation
  • Marijuana Legalization in Vermont: Assessing the Policy Landscape & Some Revenue Implications

  • Keaton Miller, University of Oregon
  • The Highs and Lows of New Market Entrants: Evidence from Recreational Marijuana Legalization


Non-Medical Product Development and Regulation
Session C | Room C198

The potential variety of cannabis products is dazzling, while possible changes in the burgeoning recreational cannabis market presents new challenges for both regulators and suppliers of cannabis. One-size-fits-all application of medical cannabis regulations to the recreational market could result in under-regulation, with respect to advertising and high THC product. Both industry participants and regulators face complicated decisions—how can they address them?

  • What are the likely future trends in product development?
  • Is very-high-THC product, and especially product that is high in THC and low in CBD, a health risk? If so, what can or should be done about it?
  • How much is or could be known about the importance of molecules other than THC and CBD? What is the right policy toward testing and labeling for those compounds?
  • Should some products remain available only with medical recommendation?


  • Sandy Mullins, Senior Policy Advisor, Washington State Governor’s Office


Designing Reforms Short of Legalization
Session D | Segal Theatre

Legal availability for all adults is not the only alternative to cannabis prohibition. Current laws and policies forbid and punish not only growing and selling cannabis but also possessing and consuming it. The high volume of simple-possession arrests is often cited by proponents of full legalization as a major source of harm from the status quo. That could be changed, without changing the legal status of cannabis production and distribution, by encouraging police to make fewer such arrests, by reducing penalties applied to consumers, by allowing the expungement of criminal records for cannabis possession or reducing the collateral consequences of such convictions, by downgrading mere possession from a criminal offense to a civil infraction, or even by outright legalization of possession for personal use, giving cannabis the same legal status as alcohol had during Prohibition. This panel explores those many options.

  • How much could changes short of legal access reduce the problems created by current laws?
  • How much would they weaken the effect of prohibition in discouraging use, and what would be the impact on public health?
  • What ancillary policies could be adopted (or abolished) to reduce the damage official actions do to cannabis users? To reduce the incidence of substance use disorder?
  • Are any states considering reforms short of legalization in 2016?


  • Mike Trace, Former Deputy Drug Czar, United Kingdom


  • Beau Kilmer, Co-Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center
  • Norm Wetterau, Physician & Addiction Specialist
  • Sue Rusche, President & CEO, National Families in Action
  • Kevin Sabet, Director – Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida & SAM

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Legalization: Whether or Not?
Session A | Auditorium

While neither “prohibition” nor “legalization” defines a single policy, the choice between permitting and forbidding the production, sale, and consumption of cannabis remains stark. The drug remains banned for non-medical use under international treaties, federal laws, and the laws of most states and most of the other countries in the world. Opinions differ widely on the consequences of legalization. What is the case for (more or less) keeping the status quo, and what is the case for (more or less radically) changing it? This panel discusses the outcomes if we changed the federal law and state laws to manage cannabis roughly as we now manage alcohol, inculding:

  • How much would cannabis consumption increase, and how would that increase be divided between beneficial and harmful use?
  • What would happen to consumption of other drugs, legal and illegal?
  • What would be the overall effects on health and safety?
  • What would be the effects on educational outcomes and adolescent development? What about the workplace?
  • What would be the effects on illicit markets, on illicit-market violence, on enforcement activity, on corruption, on arrests, and on incarceration?
  • How would all of those effects, good and bad, be distributed by race and social class?



  • Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project
  • Sue Rusche, President & CEO, National Families in Action
  • Kevin Sabet, Director – Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida & SAM
  • Lisa Sanchez, Drug Policy Director, Mexico United Against Crime

First Movers: Uruguay and Jamaica Charting New Paths
Session B | Room C201/202

When Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize cannabis (November 2012) and the Obama administration announced a policy of qualified accommodation (August 2013), political space opened for other countries to reform their cannabis laws. In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in modern times to enact a law to regulate non-medical and medical cannabis production, distribution and sales nationwide. In 2015, Jamaica amended its laws to decriminalize cannabis, legalize home cultivation for medicinal and spiritual and sacramental use, and create a licensed industry for medical cannabis.

  • What do the new laws in Uruguay and Jamaica establish? How far have they progressed in implementing their new systems?
  • How do the Uruguayan and Jamaican reforms differ from the cannabis legalization regimes being implemented in some U.S. states?
  • How are other governments reacting to the Uruguayan and Jamaican reforms? Are other countries considering similar changes?



Impacts of Cannabis Policy on Use
Session C | Room C198
ISSDP Session

This ISSDP sponsored panel includes two original pieces of research that examine different implications of medical cannabis laws in the United States and two papers that consider what can be learned from cannabis liberalization policies that are happening around the globe.


  • Edward Fox
  • A Quiet Revolution: Drug Decriminalization Across the Globe

  • Pia Mauro, Research Fellow, Columbia University
  • Does the Presence of Marijuana Dispensaries in a U.S. State Affect People’s Knowledge of Medical Marijuana Laws?

  • Arthur Robin Williams, of Psychiatry Fellow, Columbia University-Division of Substance Abuse
  • Older, Less Regulated Medical Marijuana Programs Have Much Greater Enrollment Rates than Newer Medicalized Programs

  • Alex Stevens, President, International Society for the Study of Drug Policy
  • Is Policy Liberation Associated With Higher Odds of Adolescent Cannabis Use? A Re-Analysis For Data From 38 Countries


Medical Cannabis Research Drug Development Regulation & Commerce
Session D | Segal Theatre

The bulk of state-legal cannabis sales runs through systems of medical availability. The product mix in the medical sector has been changing rapidly. Alongside the legal effort and the production and distribution activities that constitute the medical-marijuana system, there now exists a growing effort at clinical research, despite hostile federal regulation.

  • How have the available products evolved over time?
  • How have their market shares changed over time?
  • How do, and can, state governments regulate the development of cannabis-derived medical products?
  • Is there a path to federal approval of cannabis medications?


  • Brad Rowe, President & Managing Director, BOTEC Analysis


  • Rose Habib, Director of Processing, The Werc Shop
  • Sue Sisley, Chief Medical Director, NY Bloomfield Industries
  • Nicholas Vita, Vice Chairman & CEO, Columbia Care
  • Alice Mead, Vice President – U.S. Professional Relations, GW Pharmaceuticals

3:30 PM – 4:45 PM

Designing Regimes of Legal Access
Session A | Auditorium

The four U.S. states that have legalized cannabis for availability to all adults, without the need for a medical recommendation, have all chosen the path of commercial availability through for-profit outlets, more or less on the alcohol model. But that is only one of many options: alternatives include home production (“grow and give”), non-profit or cooperative sales, and state-monopoly retailing. If for-profit retailing is allowed, should that run though specialty stores carrying only cannabis and related products (as is the case in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon) or should (e.g.) convenience stores and food stores be allowed to sell cannabis?

  • How do these choices influence key outcomes, including displacement of illicit markets, the incidence of substance use disorder, and the concentration of the cannabis industry?
  • How is Washington D.C.’s grow-and-give policy faring? What about Spanish “cannabis clubs”?
  • What are the political prospects for alternatives to the alcohol model?
  • Within the alcohol model, what are the prospects for health-protective taxation and regulation?



Cannabis and the Drug Treaties: The Elephant in the Room at UNGASS
Session B | Room C201/202

The UN General Assembly will convene a Special Session (UNGASS) on the “World Drug Problem” in New York from April 19th to 21st. The UNGASS comes as several jurisdictions, including U.S. states, are moving to legalize cannabis for purposes other than exclusively “medical and scientific”—contrary to the UN drug treaties. Will the UNGASS explore how to deal with the growing gap between the ban on cannabis required by the treaties and what some countries are actually doing?

  • What do the UN drug treaties say about cannabis?
  • Are the treaties flexible enough to allow legal production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis?
  • Will a candid discussion of the treaty tensions around cannabis legalization take place at the UNGASS?
  • How can countries that choose to legalize cannabis make sure that their new laws and policies are aligned with their international treaty obligations?



  • Kathy-Ann Brown, Deputy Solicitor General, Director, Attorney General’s Chambers, Jamaica
  • James Cockayne, Head of Office at the UN, United Nations University
  • Martin Jelsma, Director, Drugs & Democracy Program – Transnational Institute
  • Lisa Sanchez, Drug Policy Director, Mexico United Against Crime
  • Jeff Zinsmeister, Executive Vice President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Cannabis and Drugged Driving
Session C | Room C198
ISSDP Session

This ISSDP sponsored panel includes four independent papers covering recent science on (1) rates of accident risk caused by cannabis use, (2) the correlation between different state policies and cannabis involvement in fatal accidents, (3) things law enforcement can do to reduce drugged driving, regardless of state policy, and (4) practical considerations for addressing drugged driving.


  • Paul Larkin, Senior Legal Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • Medical or Recreational Marijuana and Drugged Driving

  • Candace Lightner, Founder, MADD
  • What to do about DUID? A National Perspective on Drugged Driving Laws

  • Ole Rogeberg, Frisch Centre Senior Research Fellow
  • The Effects of Cannabis: Whether Intoxication on Motor Vehicle Collision Revisited and Revised

  • Eric Sevigny, Georgia State University
  • The Effects of State Marijuana Laws on Marijuana-Involved Driving: Evidence from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System


  • Beau Kilmer, Co-Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Consequences of Cannabis Use and Cannabis Markets
Session D | Segal Theatre
ISSDP Session

This ISSDP sponsored panel brings together three original papers that examine specific consequences associated with cannabis use (namely use of other substances and productivity effects) as well as consequences of cannabis markets (by examining the impact of legal markets on Cannabis prices). It provides a glimpse of the recent science on a subset of particular outcomes of great interest in the policy debates.


  • Priscillia Hunt, RAND Corporation
  • Does Legalization Lower Prices? A Cautionary Tale from Colorado and Washington

  • Rosanna Smart, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles
  • The Kids Aren’t Alright but Older Adults Are Just Fine: Effects of Medical Marijuana Market Growth on Substance Use and Abuse

  • Jenny Williams, Professor, University of Melbourne
  • Early Cannabis Use and the School to Work Transition of Young Men

Moderator & Discussant: