Marijuana Data Collection Act Would Help Feds Glean Policy Lessons from States

As we get closer to the end of federal marijuana prohibition, our leaders in Washington could learn a lot about cannabis policy from states like California. Bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress last week would ensure that they do.

The bills—sponsored by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY), as well as Reps. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Don Young (R-AK)—would require several federal agencies to enter a 10-year partnership with the National Academy of Sciences to collect data on the impact of cannabis legalization at the state level.

Both medical and recreational marijuana programs would be assessed for their economic, public health, criminal justice and workplace effects. Findings from this study would have to be submitted to Congress biennially over the course of the next decade. — Marijuana Moment

The legislation is known as the Marijuana Data Collection Act. It would foster research into marijuana taxation, health impacts and more — most of it gleaned from states that have already embraced legalization.

In a press release, Sen. Bob Menendez said: “Having this data at our fingertips and making it available to the public will help drive public policy decisions and dispel any misconceptions about marijuana legalization.”