No Rational Basis: The Pragmatic Case for Marijuana Law Reform
Eric D. Blumenson
Suffolk University Law School
Eva S. Nilsen
Boston University School of Law
March 21, 2009
Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 09-19
Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 17, 2009
This article presents a critique of marijuana prohibition and suggests some alternative regulatory approaches that would be more productive and consonant with justice. Part I relies on a forty-year empirical record to demonstrate that (1) reliance on a law enforcement approach has aggravated rather than mitigated the risks involved with marijuana use, and (2) criminalization, which results in the arrest of more than 700,000 Americans annually for possession of any amount of marijuana, is an inhumane and destructive response to an act that almost 100 million Americans have committed. Part II assesses the relative merits of several alternative reform policies, including both decriminalization and legalization under a regulatory scheme.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: criminal law, drug war, marijuana, public health, ONDCPAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 23, 2009 ; Last revised: September 1, 2009
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