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Regulating Marijuana in California

About the Program
If Californians vote to legalize recreational marijuana in November, what kind of regulatory framework would best accommodate the state's differing policy goals? And what can we learn from the experiences of Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana? PPIC research director Patrick Murphy will provide an overview of a new report that addresses these questions, and a panel of experts will discuss the challenges of marijuana legalization.

There is no charge to attend and lunch will be provided.

This event has reached capacity. Please join us for the live webcast.


Regulating Marijuana in California

By Patrick Murphy, John Carnevale

If California legalizes recreational marijuana, the state should develop a single highly regulated marijuana market—for medical and recreational uses. Key policy goals will also need to be addressed—including limiting the illegal market, protecting public health and safety, and raising revenue for the state

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Linking Land Use and Water Decisions

By Lori Pottinger

The state recently held workshops on aligning land and water planning in rural California. We talked with Debbie Franco of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research about this process.

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A Pragmatic Reason to Protect Freshwater Fish

By Ellen Hanak, Jeffrey Mount, Peter Moyle

When species make the endangered species list, we’ve not only failed them, we’ve made it harder to manage water during drought. 

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New Water Laws Address Groundwater, Marijuana

By Caitrin Chappelle, Henry McCann

Two recent bill packages took important steps toward improving groundwater management and reducing the negative environmental impacts of marijuana farming.


What If California’s Drought Continues?

By Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, Jeffrey Mount, Peter Moyle ...

California is in the fourth year of a severe, hot drought—the kind that is increasingly likely as the climate warms. Although no sector has been untouched, impacts so far have varied greatly, reflecting different levels of drought preparedness. Urban areas are in the best shape, thanks to sustained investments in diversified water portfolios and conservation. Farmers are more vulnerable, but they are also adapting. The greatest vulnerabilities are in some low-income rural communities where wells are running dry and in California’s wetlands, rivers, and forests, where the state’s iconic biodiversity is under extreme threat. Two to three more years of drought will increase challenges in all areas and require continued—and likely increasingly difficult—adaptations. Emergency programs will need to be significantly expanded to get drinking water to rural residents and to prevent major losses of waterbirds and extinctions of numerous native fish species, including most salmon runs. California also needs to start a longer-term effort to build drought resilience in the most vulnerable areas.

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