Who We Are

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy was formed in light of the likelihood that a marijuana legalization initiative will be placed on the 2016 California ballot, and that serious and thoughtful analysis must be conducted in order to identify significant
policy challenges and offer possible solutions. The Commission is comprised of leading policymakers, public health experts and academics from across the state and the nation that have done significant work and research related to marijuana.

What We Do

The purpose of the Commission is to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of various policy questions related to the possibility of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in California. The Commission will also endeavor to identify the range of solutions that might be deployed to resolve those questions, address the pros and cons of various approaches, and disseminate this
information to California voters, policy-makers and those likely to fund and draft a ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana for adults. The Blue Ribbon Commission’s work will include closely monitoring the implementation of the new tax and regulatory schemes in Colorado and Washington and examining the results of different policy decisions made in each state for the most relevant lessons.


Support for marijuana legalization is not required of members of the Commission. Neither the Commission nor individual members will be asked to endorse marijuana legalization in general, or support particular solutions, ballot initiative options,
or any positions taken by the ACLU or Lt. Governor Newsom. The BRC will operate in an advisory capacity to conduct policy research and analysis to facilitate a thorough, rigorous examination of problematic issues and alternative solutions.

Steering Committee

Gavin Newsom
Lieutenant Governor of California

Keith Humphreys
Former Senior Policy Advisor, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

Abdi Soltani
Executive Director, ACLU of Northern California

Working Group Chairs

Timmen Cermak
Co-chair Youth Education and Prevention Working Group

Marsha Rosenbaum
Co-chair, Youth Education and Prevention Working Group

David Ball
Chair, Public Safety Working Group

Sam Kamin
Co-chair, Regulatory and Tax Structure Working Group

Patrick Oglesby
Co-chair, Regulatory and Tax Structure Working Group