WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 Apr 2013 | Video

Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict?

Last November, two states, Colorado and Washington, voted to legalize and regulate marijuana—a direct challenge to federal policy under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Other states may follow suit. Now the Obama administration, the states, and Congress face a series of legal and political choices that will determine whether some degree of orderly cooperation is possible. Can confrontation be avoided, or at least minimized? If not, what are the implications?

On Monday, April 15, Governance Studies at Brookings and WOLA hosted a public forum with two leading scholars and two key politicians to examine the options and weigh the stakes.

As part of our partnership with Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, WOLA recently released “Marijuana Policy and Presidential Leadership: How to Avoid a Federal-State Train Wreck,” a publication by Stuart Taylor, Jr., in which the author examines the Federal-State relationship with regard to marijuana.

Introduction and Moderator:

Jonathan Rauch
Guest Scholar, Governance Studies, Brookings


The Honorable Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon)
U.S. House of Representatives
Bob Ferguson
Attorney General, State of Washington
Mark A.R. Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy, UCLA School of Public Affairs
Stuart S. Taylor, Jr.
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings