NPR reporter Nathan Rott recently spoke with Mark Kleiman and others about the public health concerns around legal cannabis as well as the uncertain status of state-based measures in light of Donald Trump's victory on November 8th.
ROTT: The Marijuana Business Daily, a trade publication, estimates that Tuesday's vote could add $7 to $8 billion to cannabis sales annually. That's on top of the billions of dollars that are already being spent in states where it's legal, all in an industry that's still against federal law.
MARK KLEIMAN: That ought to seem like an unsustainable position.
ROTT: Mark Kleiman is a professor of drug policy and crime control at New York University's Marron Institute.
KLEIMAN: So you got billions of dollars a year in transactions going on in cash. That's not healthy.
ROTT: That's just one of Kleiman's concerns. He's also worried that heavy use will increase as marijuana becomes more accessible and big business gets involved. But the main question and concern for many who follow marijuana policy is how the federal government is going to react, especially given the results of the presidential election. Ethan Nadelmann is the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that aims to end the American war on drugs.
ETHAN NADELMANN: Donald Trump is totally unpredictable on this issue. There was a moment years ago when he said he would just as soon legalize all drugs, but he was also seen using drug war rhetoric during the debates with Hillary Clinton.