Regulation: Taking Control of the Cannabis Market

The four essential goals of cannabis regulation:

  • Keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors;
  • Reducing harm to adult users;
  • Preventing collateral harm to the public; and
  • Maximizing the economic benefit of legalization.

Physician opponents of legalization have legitimate concerns about the potential consequences of underage use. But if national polls are correct, and wisdom prevails, then America is rapidly moving toward cannabis legalization for adults.

Physicians should stop arguing about the right of consenting adults to consume a non-lethal recreational drug, and discuss how — rather than whether — cannabis should be legalized. Doctors for Cannabis Regulation wants to protect public health by promoting smart government regulation.

Regulation requires legalization, and legalization requires regulation.

So what should legalization/regulation look like?

Our approach to federal regulation should synthesize the perspectives of both advocates and opponents of legalization. Building a new system from the ground up, we should incorporate the most successful aspects of laws controlling alcohol, tobacco and gambling. We can also learn from the four states — plus the District of Columbia — that have already fully legalized cannabis, and the 19 other states that have legalized medical marijuana.

America can achieve the essential goals of regulation through practical, common sense solutions:

    • Government oversight of cannabis production, testing, distribution, and sales.
    • Detailed labeling of cannabis products, including (but not limited to) THC and CBD levels, dosing information, and ingredients.
    • Restrictions on marketing and advertising of cannabis products.
    • A ban on cannabis packaging and advertising that targets or attracts underage users.
    • Child-resistant packaging for cannabis products.
    • Penalties for adults who enable diversion of cannabis to minors.
    • Adult education about the use and misuse of cannabis.
    • Youth education about the risks of underage cannabis use
    • Taxation of the cannabis trade to fund research, education, substance abuse treatment and community reinvestment.
    • Protection of individual cultivation rights and small businesses in a competitive cannabis industry.
    • Diversity in all aspects of the cannabis industry, rebuilding communities most affected by cannabis prohibition.


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