Case Studies

Laws and Regulations | Lessons from Other States | Impaired Driving | Marijuana Use and Employment Law Labelling | Testing | Medical Impacts of Marijuana Use | Social Impacts of Marijuana Legalization |

Laws and Regulations

U.S. Controlled Substances Act
The Federal Government’s drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain drugs is regulated.

Cole Memo
(August 2013). A US Department of Justice-published memorandum describing the priorities of federal prosecutors, as it relates to states that have legalized medical and adult use marijuana.

Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act
The Maine-state statute legalizing medical use of marijuana in the state.

Rules Governing the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program
Implementation of Maine’s medical use program

Maine DHHS Medical Marijuana Program Web Page
Resources from Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the responsible agency, for medical marijuana use in the state.

Marijuana Legalization Act
Maine statute legalizing adult use of marijuana in the state.

Maine Legislature Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation
Committee in the Maine State Legislature that is responsible for implementation of the Marijuana Legalization Act

Lessons from Other States

State by State Analysis of Cannabis Industry
New Frontier Data (2016). An analysis of key developments, trends, and opportunities in states with legal marijuana markets – both medical and adult use.

Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws
A comprehensive guide to changing marijuana policy in the United States. Since 2014, Americans for Safe Access has been evaluating the components of each state’s medical programs to help guide improvements and inform new legislation.

As More Voters Legalize Marijuana, States Left With Regulatory Hurdles
The Pew Charitable Trusts (January 2017). An examination of the hurdles that states face with the legalization of adult use marijuana, especially when legalization comes from the ballot box.

Legalizing Marijuana in California: A Review of Policy Considerations
The Law and Policy Lab Stanford Law School (2016). This report analyzes various public policy considerations for the legalization of adult use marijuana in California with a focus on agency choice and labor and employment.

Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings
Colorado Department of Public Safety (March 2016). Summarizing the public health, safety, youth impact, and financial data from Colorado from 2014, when adult use marijuana became legally available in Colorado, to 2016.

Legalization, Insights from Vermont and other Jurisdictions
RAND Corporation (2015). This report analyzes various options for legalizing marijuana and the potential consequences of each approach with a focus on supply architecture, taxation, and regulations.

Status Report: Marijuana Legalization in Washington After 1 Year of Retail Sales and 2.5 Years of Legal Possession
Drug Policy Alliance (July 2015). Summarizing public health and safety data, youth prevention efforts, and financial data from the first year that adult use marijuana was legally available in Washington State.

Status Report: Marijuana Legalization in Colorado After One Year of Retail Sales and Two Years of Decriminalization
Drug Policy Alliance (2015). Summarizing public health and safety data, youth prevention efforts, and financial data from the first year that adult use marijuana was legally available in Colorado.

Medical Marijuana Comes to Pennsylvania: What to Expect As the Keystone State Rolls Out its New Medical Marijuana Program
The National Law Review (January 2017). After legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has begun to implement the program, including interim medical marijuana regulations before medical marijuana is expected to become available in 2018.

A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada
Government of Canada – Healthy Canadians (November 2016). A finalized report prepared for Canadian Cabinet members, including Attorney General, Minister of Health, and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, by a task force charged with creating an outline for cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada.

Issues in State Licensing of Marijuana Businesses
Governing Magazine (December 2016). As states decide for themselves how to regulate marijuana, each comes up with solutions to common problems, like licensing dispensaries. This report looks at problems, solutions, and additional questions that arrive with the original solutions.

Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Lessons Learned
Harvard Law and Policy Review (August 2014). A summary of the implementation history of legalization in Colorado – Amendment 64 – and the critical federal policy issues the state has faced since legalization (enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act; access to financial services for marijuana-related businesses; and the need for federal tax reform); the study also discusses state-policy questions, including ways Colorado worked to create local cooperation.

Marijuana Legalization and Taxes: Lessons from Colorado and Washington
Tax Foundation (May 2016). Marijuana tax collection in Colorado and Washington exceeded initial estimates, but, along with Oregon and Alaska, are assessing tax rates that will support the regulatory regime, while also reducing the black market.

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact (Volume 3)
Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (September 2015). A complete study of 10 areas of impact that marijuana legalization had in Colorado, including adult and youth use, impaired driving, and marijuana-related exposure.

Deep Dive- Marijuana
National Conference of State Legislatures. A case study of the status of current marijuana laws, a collection of academic studies, and other resources concerning marijuana at the state level.

Impaired Driving

Drug and Alchol Crash Risk Survey
National Highway Transportations Safety Administration (NHTSA) White paper 812-117 (2015). As part of two impaired drivers studies, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration conducted the most precisely controlled study of its kind to measure the risk associate with marijuana levels found among drivers in a large community.

US Traffic Fatalities, 1985–2014, and Their Relationship to Medical Marijuana Laws
American Public Health Association (November 2016). Upon trying to discover the association of medical marijuana laws and traffic fatality rates, researchers found that states with medical marijuana and dispensaries saw a reduction in traffic fatalities, especially among the 25-44 year old-cohort.

Marijuana Use and Employment Law

Marijuana in the Workplace in Maine
Portland Press Herald (October 2016). Maine’s complex drug testing laws have created an uncertainty about the workplace impacts of legal adult-use marijuana.

Substance Abuse, Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, and the Maine Employer Substance Abuse Testing Law (26 MRSA Subchapter 3-A)
Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards (February 2016). A study conducted in Maine about substance use in the workplace, the legalization of medical and adult-use marijuana, and other issues related to Maine Substance Abuse Testing Law. The DOL, based on the study, suggests an update to the Law.

State of Colorado Guide to Health and Safety in Marijuana Workplaces
Colorado’s guide to marijuana occupational safety and health

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (May 2015). A summary of the history of medical marijuana, including known and potential health effects, published to help employers decide whether there are conditions under which employees may safely use marijuana.


Washington State Imposes New Labeling Requirements
The News Tribune [Washington] (February 2017). In an effort to further discourage minors from using marijuana, Washington State enacted new labeling requirements for edible marijuana.

Colorado enhances labelling requirements
State of Colorado (September 2016). The state of Colorado announced increased labelling requirements for all edible marijuana products.


Shortage of Testing Facilities Hampers Oregon Marijuana Industry
Whitney Economics (2016). A study on the roll out of adult use marijuana and the impact on the black market and Oregon state tax revenues.

Medical Impacts of Marijuana Use

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research
The National Academies of Sciences (January 2017). A review of what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis products, as well as areas in need of additional research and barriers to additional research.

After legalization, teen marijuana use drops sharply in Colorado
Washington Post (December 2016). According to federal survey data, teen use of marijuana fell in both 2014 and 2015 in Colorado, after the state legalized marijuana.

Social Impacts of Marijuana Legalization

The Impact of Marijuana Policies on Youth: Clinical, Research, and Legal Update
 American Academy of Pediatrics (March 2015). This policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends regulations for preventing minor access and use to marijuana in a legal market.

The Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime
(February 2017) A study off the effects of medical marijuana laws on violent and property crime, which found no causal effects on either form of crime at the national level or within individual states.

The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on the Labor Supply of Older Adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
(January 2017). The passage of state medical marijuana laws leads to an increase of labor supply of older adults- those that are most likely to use marijuana for effective treatment.

Can marijuana help solve the opioid epidemic?
The Atlantic (February 2017). After several patients refused opioid pain medicine after procedures, opting instead for marijuana, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut has decided to compare opioids and medical marijuana for acute pain treatment.

Cannabis Industry Fire Safety Code Proposed
Marijuana Business Daily (November 2016). A committee of fire code enforcers, equipment manufacturers, and extraction facility professionals has created a proposed marijuana chapter for the Fire Code of the National Fire Protection Association, a national nonprofit that develops safety codes and standards.

Teens Views on Marijuana Change after Legalization
Scientific American (December 2016). A study found teens in Washington perceived marijuana to be less harmful and reported using it more, after it was legalized in the state. An editorial accompanying the study said research on marijuana is crucial for public policy development.

Marijuana Is Harder Than Ever for Younger Teens to Find
US News (December 2016). Younger teens are reporting the lowest availability of marijuana in at least 24 years, despite the spread of home-growing and retail stores.