I recently discovered a new blog that may be of interesting to some Conspiracy readers — Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform. It was created by Doug Berman, of Sentencing Law and Policy fame, but lately it has also had a lot of great posts by my friend Alex Kreit, a law professor who literally wrote the book on the law of controlled substances.

Here is an excerpt from a recent post by Alex about the restrictions on doing scientific research on Schedule I substances (like marijuana):

The CSA, however, puts up the same roadblocks for studying all Schedule I substances, including those that we think hold medical promise. The only conceivable reasons for doing this are leakage concerns (ie, that substances approved for research will leak into the black market) or that the substance is so very dangerous that we need to be extra cautious when studying its medical value.

Certainly neither of these are legitimate concerns when it comes to marijuana. The only people in the United States who have any trouble getting their hands on marijuana are researchers. And the health risks of marijuana are certainly no worse than many FDA approved drugs.

And here is Alex on “industry”-backed ballot measures:

I think the possibility of “industry” players running ballot measures is especially something to watch for. My own take is that this is unlikely in the near term (meaning 2014 or 2016), mainly because any ballot measure crafted by industry players would be more vulnerable to attacks from political opponents than one that is run by an advocacy organization (e.g., attacks like Project SAM’s “big marijuana” argument.) I suspect that this dynamic may not deter industry-created ballot measures for all that long. And we may see one or more in 2016.

But if I had to guess, I would think 2018 is a more likely year for a wave of industry-created measures.