Without a doubt, one of the biggest policy wins for Reason since our debut in 1968 has been the legalization of marijuana in the United States. Currently, 10 states and the District of Columbia allow use for recreational purposes and another 33 allow its use as medicine. Donald Trump has even indicated that he'd sign legislation turning control of pot over to the states.
So when Reason celebrated its 50th anniversary in November, we put together a panel devoted to talking about how drug policy has changed over the years, the difficulties in actually implementing legalization, and how drugs the government still considers "illicit"—LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, and more—are now being talked about not simply as ways to get high but as means to increase mental health, happiness, and well-being.
The panelists included:
- Adrian Moore, Ph.D., who runs the research division of Reason Foundation and consults with cities and states that are implementing marijuana legalization
- Dana Rohrabacher, a longtime Republican member of Congress who consistently pushed to end the federal war on pot
- Jacob Sullum, a Reason senior editor who has written about drug policy for years and is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use
We pick up the conversation, which I moderated, as Adrian Moore begins his comments.
We'll be releasing more panels from our anniversary celebration over the coming weeks. For a discussion of whether the First Amendment is flourishing or fading (featuring the ACLU's Nadine Strossen, the Volokh Conspiracy's Eugene Volokh, and Reason's Stephanie Slade), go here.
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Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Photo Credit: RICK WILKING/REUTERS/Newscom
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