Local options: good processes, controversial outcomes?

Di Gioia, Ilaria (2023) Local options: good processes, controversial outcomes? University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 16. ISSN 2154-6428 (In Press)

[img] Text
Paper_alcohol_and_marijuana_draft_.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (371kB)


Legalization of recreational marijuana has gained momentum in the United States. As of July 2022, 19 states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. The relatively broad support at state level, however, has not always been reflected at local level. For example, in New Jersey, about one in four municipalities have introduced or adopted ordinances barring marijuana-related businesses.
The states have responded with the implementation of local opt-out options and the possibility, for municipalities, to impose bans on dispensaries, grow facilities and manufacturers of the substance. This response resembles post-prohibition era local alcohol regulations when the temperance movement succeeded in securing the local option in thirty out of forty-two states that had legalized alcohol by 1935. Currently, 10% of U.S. counties still maintain a ban on some or all forms of alcohol.
The local opt options are, in theory, very virtuous processes. They avoid intra-state conflict and are an example of working federalism at state level. However, do they also produce desirable policy outcomes?
This paper considers whether there is a correct balance between regulatory uniformity and local regulation in the context of marijuana and alcohol policy. It examines reasons in favour of localism such as local community standards and local innovation and the reasons against localism such as policy homogeneity and resource allocation.

Item Type: Article
14 February 2023Accepted
Subjects: CAH16 - law > CAH16-01 - law > CAH16-01-01 - law
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2023 11:47
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2023 11:47
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14481

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...