Sam Kamin


With another presidential election now looming on the horizon, both political parties and both sides of the marijuana law reform debate are once again preparing for the possibility of a seismic change in how marijuana is regulated in the United States. In this Article, I lay out the state of marijuana law and policy in the United States today with an eye toward that uncertain future. I describe the differential treatment of marijuana under state and federal law and the tensions this causes for those seeking to take advantage of marijuana law reform in the states. I analyze recent changes to marijuana federalism and then look to the future, discussing what changes we may expect in the way marijuana is regulated under both state and federal law in the years to come. I show that as marijuana law continues to evolve in the states, the conversation at the federal level will have to move beyond calls for legalization and toward the difficult work of creating a sensible regulatory regime to replace fifty years of prohibition.