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Preemption in Marijuana Policy: Never a Good Idea for Public Health

April 15, 2015

Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UCSF

April 13, 2015

by Stanton Glantz, PhD

There has been an aggressive move to legalize recreational marijuana through ballot initiative by national marijuana advocacy groups after four states, Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, legalized retail sales in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Several states, including California, likely will consider similar legislation for the 2016 presidential election. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and their local chapters, among others, are pushing legislation that would preempt local jurisdictions from taxing and regulating the sales, production, and cultivation of marijuana.  Health groups in California (and, perhaps, elsewhere) have been absent from these early policy discussions.

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