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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

A multi-source investigation of issues arising from the implementation and evolution of a commercial, non-medical marijuana market in Colorado - PhD Project

Project Team

Chief Investigator:

Todd Subritzky, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Co-investigators:

Professor Simon Lenton, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University
Professor Simone Pettigrew, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University

Contact Person:

Professor Simon Lenton, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Project

For several decades the cultivation, sale and use of recreational cannabis has been prohibited by law in most countries. Recently however under ballot initiatives, four states in the US have legalised commercial, non-medical marijuana markets. Several other states will initiate similar ballot measures attached to the 2016 election that will also appoint a new President. In addition, more than 20 states now allow medical marijuana to treat a range of ailments. Other countries, notably Canada, may soon legalise a recreational cannabis market in some form, while in Australia a bill allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has recently passed into law. Uruguay is awaiting full implementation after passing a state run model for legal recreational cannabis into law over a year ago.

As the first jurisdiction to implement “seed to sale” legislation for recreational use in 2014, Colorado is an important model to begin investigating early consequences of specific policy choices as the evidence base starts to accrue and other jurisdictions consider their own legislation. In an environment where things are changing rapidly and scientific evidence on the impact of the changes is only starting to emerge, this study aims to identify and explore a range of related issues through review of regulations, analysis of mass and niche media coverage, and interviews with associated stakeholders from industry, public health and policy makers.

Publications

Lenton, S. and Subritzky, T. (2017). On sentinel samples, sales data and potency. Commentary on Kilmer & Pacula: Greening the Black Market. Addiction, 112, (7), pp. 1137-1138. DOI: 10.1111/add.13756 [RJ1292] Paper

Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S. and Lenton, S. (2017). Into the void: regulating pesticide use in Colorado’s commercial cannabis markets. International Journal of Drug Policy, 42, pp. 86-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.01.014 [RJ1252] Paper

Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S. and Lenton, S. (2016). Issues in the implementation and evolution of the commercial recreational marijuana market in Colorado. International Journal of Drug Policy, 27, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.12.001 [RJ1125] Paper