County-level Policy Surveillance Results of Recreational Marijuana Policies in Colorado & Washington State (2012-2019)


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  • Denise Payán, Assistant Professor, Health, Society & Behavior, UC Irvine (bio)

In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Both allowed local governments to further regulate the availability of marijuana facilities in their jurisdictions. As early adopters, these states are important quasi-natural experiments to examine local marijuana policy and policy change processes, including key stakeholders and arguments. We conducted a policy scan of county-level recreational marijuana ordinances and regulations in Colorado and Washington enacted by April 1, 2019. We also identify key areas of policy and public health research needed to inform future local marijuana policy decisions, including the impact of legalization on public health outcomes (particularly for youth) and public safety.  Forum recording

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