Pot Is Legal in Washington: Q&A with the Man Who Is Making Weed Legit

Fifty percent of every birth cohort uses pot

Health & Family

Washington state gets ready to regulate legal marijuana with the help of one of America’s top drug policy analysts.

Mark Kleiman is professor of public policy at the University of California in Los Angeles, and co-author of Marijuana Legalization:  What Everyone Needs to Know. His team at Botec Analysis Corporation earned the contract to help turn Washington state’s vote to legalize marijuana into a reality. TIME talked to him about the challenging job ahead.

Does it hinder serious analysis that everyone always wants to make jokes about marijuana?

Probably somewhat. Though they don’t make lot of jokes about cocaine and we’ve got equally terrible policy. It’s the same as making jokes about sex— it’s probably not a bad impulse to notice that the human tendency to excess is inherently funny even if the consequences aren’t.

Is that because they see marijuana as less harmful?

They’re more familiar with…

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