Will California become the first state to legalize the production and sale of marijuana? November ballot measure Proposition 19 would allow local governments to choose whether and how to regulate and tax marijuana. Some are concerned about legalization's effect on consumption and public health, while others tout the potential boon to city and state coffers. Besides the jaw-dropping estimated retail price decrease from $400 to $38 per ounce, nothing is really certain about the potential impact of Prop 19. Get informed before the vote – don't miss advocates of both sides arguing the pros and cons of pushing pot through the legal pipeline.
Beau Kilmer is codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. His primary fields of interest are illicit markets, community corrections, drug treatment, and the future of drug testing. Kilmer's recent work focused on measuring the size of the global drug market for the European Commission and developing indicators to measure the impact of drug enforcement in Europe. His current work focuses on identifying the community-level effects of drug treatment and assessing the cost-effectiveness of an innovative after-school program targeted at reducing substance use among middle school youth. He is an assistant editor for Addiction and the coeditor of the new Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, and his recent work was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Policy. Before earning his Ph.D. from Harvard University, Kilmer received a Judicial Administration Fellowship that supported his work with the San Francisco Drug Court.
Kilmer's expertise is frequently called upon by major news media. He is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences focusing on drug policy. Kilmer is the primary author of the recent RAND report titled Altered State Assessing How Marijuana Legalization in California Could Influence Marijuana Consumption and Public Budgets, which has been cited nationally and internationally in major news outlets, and by elected officials across the political spectrum.
Richard Lee has been working to end cannabis prohibition for 17 years. In 1992 he co-founded Legal Marijuana - The Hemp Store in Houston, Texas, one of the first hemp products retail outlets in the United States. Lee moved to Oakland in 1997 and co-founded the Hemp Research Company, supplying cannabis to the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club and researching efficient and environmentally friendly cannabis horticulture. In 1999, he opened the Bulldog Coffeeshop, the second cannabis outlet in "Oaksterdam". In 2003 Lee founded the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance, the PAC that passed Oakland's Measure Z making private sales, cultivation, and possession of cannabis the lowest law enforcement priority and mandating that Oakland tax and regulate cannabis as soon as possible under state law.
From 2005 to 2007, Lee published the Oaksterdam News quarterly newspaper with a circulation of over 100,000. In 2007, he founded the first cannabis college in the United States, Oaksterdam University. In 2008 he funded the startup of the monthly magazine West Coast Cannabis, current circulation 30,000. Since 2005, Lee has been serving on the City of Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance Commission, which was created after Measure Z passed with 65% of the vote 2004. He manages several other Oaksterdam companies, including the Oaksterdam Gift Shop and Nursery. His dedication to ending cannabis prohibition continues to play a crucial role in the revitalization and economic growth of Oakland.
Josh Richman covers state and federal politics for the Bay Area News Group - East Bay.
A New York City native, he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997.
He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9's "This Week in Northern California.
Tim Rosales serves as the Vice-President of The Wayne Johnson Agency's Public Affairs division. Currently, he is working as campaign manager for the No On Prop 19 campaign.
A panel of advocates debate the potential effects of marijuana legalization on consumption rates of the drug. Cannabis activist Richard Lee argues that legalization decreases marijuana use, while RAND's Beau Kilmer points out a common misconception related to that argument.
Beau Kilmer and Richard Lee debate the potential effects marijuana legalization in California could have on Mexican drug cartels. Kilmer cites that California only accounts for a small percentage of the cartels' revenue, while Lee counters that legalization in California could lead to legalization nationwide.