In the debate over what marijuana legalization means for Colorado, the best drug-policy brains in the nation say there is one question getting short shrift: If people can more easily toke, does that mean they will drink less?
It is, for now, a question without an answer. But what that answer is, the experts say, will be a big factor in determining whether marijuana legalization is worth it.
"A small change in alcohol has a bigger social impact than a large change in cannabis," said UCLA professor Mark A.R. Kleiman, one of the authors of the book "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know." "So it ought to matter a lot whether the change is in the right direction or wrong direction."