The cannabis regulatory debate facing the nation today has direct parallels to the policy debate at the repeal of federal Prohibition when states were granted the express authority to regulate and tax alcohol. The result is a tapestry of laws, rules, and regulations as varied as the states themselves. Much debate ensued around how states should regulate alcohol, and the analysis that drove many of the policies we still see today can provide a helpful blueprint for regulating cannabis in the present. From flavored products to outlet density, the policy debate around cannabis has renewed a much-needed discussion on the importance of balancing public health and safety considerations with the motive for profit of legal, controlled substances in the U.S.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to explain the recommendations outlined in the historic alcohol analysis "Toward Liquor Control," and their implications for cannabis today. They will also have an understanding of the rationale behind the recommendations that created the blueprint for the alcohol regulatory framework in the U.S. and how this framework takes shape in their communities. And they will be able to describe how the cannabis debate has renewed a dialogue about public health and safety considerations applicable to alcohol.
About the Presenters:
Mary Segawa, M.S., has worked in community and statewide prevention and public policy for over 20 years. She was the Public Health Education Liaison at the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board from 2010 to 2019, where she worked closely with other state agencies and community organizations to coordinate prevention efforts, provide training, and develop resources. Mary played a key role in promoting public health policy at the WSLCB as they implemented two citizen initiatives that profoundly affected the agency's operations: privatization of liquor and legalization of adult cannabis use and retail sales. She currently consults with regulatory, public health, prevention and research groups providing translation of information from different fields to support actions that meet their shared goals of protecting public health and safety.
Cassandra Greisen is the Public Policy Manager at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), a trade association representing alcohol regulators. She has 15 years of public health experience related to the regulation, enforcement, and marketing of alcohol. Prior to joining NABCA, Cassie was Faculty Associate at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she worked on both statewide and national projects implementing and assessing strategies to address excessive alcohol consumption.