Science and policy are often in tension with one another. Such is the
case with the evolution of marijuana policy over the past several years
as implemented by the states. There are those who believe marijuana
should stay as it is—a controlled substance strictly regulated by the
federal government, which views marijuana as highly addictive and
without medical value. There is a subset of Americans who believe it
should be readily accessible for medicinal uses, regulated in ways
similar to other accepted pharmaceuticals. And there are those who
believe that the legalization of “recreational” marijuana is the
direction in which the U.S. should move. Join a scientist who leads the
National Institute on Drug Abuse, a physician, and a policy maker from a
jurisdiction where recreational marijuana has been legalized to address
what science reveals about the addictiveness of marijuana and its
effects on the human brain and behavior, the status and evidence of its
medicinal value, and what the implications are for policies that
legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational uses.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health
J. Michael Bostwick, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
Councilmember At-Large, Council of the District of Columbia