It appears that the Washington State Liquor Control Board has chosen Botec Analysis Corp. as its cannabis expert to assist in implementing I-502 regulations. Botec is a Massachusetts-based policy and economic research and analysis company that has worked with and evaluated government agencies on problems related to drug abuse, crime, and public health.
Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at UCLA is Botec’s president. He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard and he serves as an adjunct scholar for the Center for American Progress. The majority of his scholarly writings focus on drug policy reform. In a 1998 interview, Kleiman told PBS, “If we legalize marijuana or any other drug, either we will have a private industry whose profits depend on creating and maintaining addicts, or we will have a public bureaucracy whose revenues depend on creating and maintaining addicts.” His most recent writings on marijuana can be found at his shared blog.
Mr. Kleiman does not favor large-scale legal commercialization of cannabis. He believes marijuana is habit-forming for a significant number of its users, and this habit has negative effects and commercializing it likely will increase its use. He sees private cannabis businesses as having a financial interest in marketing and encouraging addiction. On the other hand, he recognizes that marijuana is less dangerous and less habit-forming than alcohol, and with fewer side effects. He sees criminalized marijuana as having wrecked communities and wrought harm. In other words, he is a policy moderate. He has clearly spent a significant amount of time thinking about drug policy.
Stay tuned, as things will soon begin heating up on the regulatory front