Clearly, the cannabis policy landscape is in a process of profound change. There is an increasing appetite around the world for different policy approaches to cannabis other than the long-standing prohibition with criminal penalties. Despite the proscriptions of the international drug control conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988, regulated legal markets for cannabis in the United States of America, Uruguay and Canada are already taking shape. These recent legalizations have been preceded by moves, over four decades, by a number of countries to de-penalize and de-criminalize cannabis use and small-scale cultivation possession under various de-facto and de-jure policies. More recently, the widespread establishment of medicinal cannabis regimes have also provided greater legal access to cannabis, albeit under a medical framework, and challenged the underlying ideology of cannabis prohibition (i.e. that all cannabis use is high risk). However, it has been the legalization of cannabis use and supply in parts of the Americas that has fundamentally changed the policy landscapeball game .
The editors of this book have assembled an international who’s-who of cannabis scholars who bring together the best available evidence and expertise drawing together what is known from the existing evidence on this important topic. The five parts sections of the book and their chapters that comprise this bookthem provide us with: a clear and comprehensive view of the first outcomes of current cannabis legalization models;, an analysis of the increasing trend towards the decriminalization and depenalization of cannabis use around the world;, and how different countries, regions or even cities are gaining ownership of their control policies; lessons learned from our experiences of regulating alcohol, tobacco and legal highs; and finally considering new ‘middle-ground’ legalization models for cannabis .