In the last decade, Americans’ relationship with cannabis has transformed: today, dozens of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use and American farmers can grow hemp on an industrial scale. Meanwhile, shoppers can find cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from cannabis but does not produce a “high” like marijuana, in everything from oils to vapes, chocolate bars, cosmetics—even dog treats. Some say CBD can relieve stress, pain, anxiety, and more, with no side effects. But the evidence for many of these claims is limited, and state and federal laws around the sale of CBD are still evolving. Drawing on a newly-released poll by POLITICO and the Harvard Chan School, this Forum examined public attitudes toward CBD products and recreational marijuana. Panelists examined how research studies of both recreational and medical marijuana offer insights into the current debate. They also discussed the current state of policy and research regarding recreational marijuana in particular, and consider various solutions that have emerged to understand and regulate these rapidly growing industries.
This Forum event was presented jointly with POLITICO on December 3, 2019.