New Series Examines Marijuana Policy Implementation

New Series from the Rockefeller Institute of Government Examines the Policies, Challenges, and Consequences of Marijuana Legalization in the States


Albany, NY — The Rockefeller Institute of Government has launched a new website to present its ongoing research on the policies, challenges, and consequences of marijuana legalization in the states.

The series, “In the Weeds: How States Are Legalizing Marijuana in the Shadow of a Federal Prohibition,” combines the Institute’s existing research with new analyses to explain the complex clash of laws that results when states legalize a drug that is still prohibited by federal law. Rockefeller Institute researchers draw on lessons from states that have already legalized marijuana to build a roadmap for policymakers in other states considering this option. 

“Marijuana legalization means creating a brand new industry from scratch, and doing so under the complicated limitations of the federal prohibition,” said Rockefeller Institute President Jim Malatras. “This series will help state policymakers considering legalization develop smart, evidence-backed policies, and it will help the public understand this complex issue. This is important work by Rockefeller Institute Chief of Staff and Fellow Heather Trela, Senior Economist Laura Schultz, and Communications Director Kyle Adams.”

So far, the series features:

  • The estimated economic impact of an adult-use marijuana industry in New York State
  • Six key issues state policymakers should consider when legalizing marijuana
  • Marijuana’s role as an alternative to opioids
  • Analyses of the evolving clash between state and federal approaches to marijuana policy

The series will continue to be updated as new reports and analyses are released.

Read the series.