Drug Policy and Law Enforcement's effect on the cannabis market: A cross-national analysis.

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences

Abstract

This research provides a cross-national analysis of the effect that a country's drug policy, and law enforcement strategies, has on the cannabis market.
Over the past 15 years' several countries' have taken a more de-regulated position toward cannabis. Portugal and Argentina both decriminalised cannabis use in 2001 and 2009 respectively. A number of states in the US have legalized recreational cannabis use in California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. This number is set to rise with Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voting in 2016 for legalization. Canada is also in the process of legalisation and Germany has recently passed a bill to legalize medicinal cannabis usage. However, several countries still prohibit cannabis with differing enforcement of its sale and consumption.
Despite the existence of alternative policy regimes and differences in the enforcement of the market, few insights have been obtained from cross-national comparisons. So far, most of the research is based on pre-post analysis or crude comparisons (e.g. Hughes and Stevens 2010). Since many factors affecting cannabis use are influenced by countries' regulations and criminal justice systems (e.g. availability, price, etc.), cross-country analysis can offer relevant policy recommendations. Rather than focusing narrowly on one intervention the aim of this project is to provide a comprehensive cross-country analysis of the effect that drug policy regulations and law enforcement have on the cannabis market.

Publications


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