Clearing the haze: The complexities and challenges of research on state marijuana laws

Esther K. Choo, Sherry L. Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


As states increasingly liberalize marijuana laws, high-quality research is needed that will inform the public and policymakers about the health and societal impact of these laws. However, there are many challenges to studying marijuana policy, including the heterogeneity of the drug and its use, the variability in the laws and their implementation from state to state, the need to capture a wide variety of relevant outcomes, and the poorly understood influence of marijuana commercialization. Furthermore, current instruments generally fail to distinguish between types of users and lack accurate and detailed measures of use. This review provides a background on marijuana laws in the United States and an overview of existing policy research, discusses methodological considerations when planning analysis of state marijuana laws, and highlights specific topics needing further development and investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Cannabis
  • Law
  • Legislation
  • Marijuana
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Clearing the haze: The complexities and challenges of research on state marijuana laws'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this