Medical Marijuana Does NOT Mean Increased Teen Marijuana Use

Given its overall popularity with the general public, it could be viewed as surprising that approximately half of the states still have not legalized medical marijuana. Opponents of medical marijuana, however, have employed a number of arguments, several of which focus on marijuana use by teenagers.  New research from D. Mark Anderson, Benjamin Hansen and Daniel I. Rees examines the relationship between medical marijuana laws and marijuana consumption among high school students.  Their results suggest that the legalization of medical marijuana is not accompanied by increases in marijuana use among high school students.

One Year into the TTIP Negotiations: Getting to Yes

We are now just over one year into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, and it is time for an evaluation of what has been achieved. Are the talks progressing as rapidly as hoped? Are the hurdles surmountable? Will this giant free-trade zone actually come to fruition?  A new bulletin from Cato scholar Simon Lester examines the current state of the TTIP talks relative to expectations and in the larger context of the world trading system.

The Policy Implications of Self-Driving Cars

Partially autonomous vehicles (more widely known as self-driving cars) that can take over some driving functions, such as steering and speed control, are on the market today. Highly autonomous vehicles that can drive themselves in most situations should be available for sale in less than a decade. Fully autonomous vehicles that won’t even have an option for a human driver will be available within a decade after that.  In a new paper, Cato scholar Randal O’Toole argues that legislators and other policymakers should change the way they view transportation, and offers recommendations that should be considered before they make long-range decisions relating to transportation and land use.

The Public’s Preference for Renewed Federalism

For much of its history, the United States had a notably decentralized government structure. Since the 1930s, the national government has undertaken new efforts to regulate the economy and society and to redistribute resources. Those new efforts have implied a greater centralization of authority in Washington. In the past the public often supported such centralization. However, according to a new study from Cato scholars John Samples and Emily McClintock Ekins, public opinion about federalism has changed. Voters are more supportive of decentralized policymaking on many issues where they previously supported a stronger national role.

The state of humanity is improving…and so is HumanProgress.org!

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The Most Dangerous World Ever?

Dire warnings about our uniquely dangerous world are ubiquitous. But do we actually live in a uniquely dangerous world? And, if we do not, why do we believe that we do?  In the new issue of Cato Policy Report, Cato scholar Christopher Preble puts today’s threats in perspective, and argues, “Tragic, even horrifying, stories of human suffering do not portend that we are living in a more dangerous world. In most respects, we are living longer, better lives.” Also in this issue, Cato chairman Robert A. Levy looks at the expansion of executive powers under President Obama.

Newly Expanded Center for the Study of Science

The Cato Institute is pleased to announce the expansion of its Center for the Study of Science. Founded in 2012, the Center for the Study of Science was created to provide market-based ideas that could transition policy regarding energy consumption, environmental standards, and other science-related issues away from government planners. The Center for the Study of Science will seek to provide a credible source for media and members of the public who want a fresh perspective on scientific claims made by government and other research organizations. Research areas will include energy use and taxation; use of government subsidies; global warming; and overall environmental regulation.

Opening the Skies: Put Free Trade in Airline Services on the Transatlantic Trade Agenda

The EU and the United States began negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2013, with the primary goals of reducing impediments to cross-border trade and investment and achieving greater economic integration between the two areas. Curiously, there has been a near absence of discussion in the TTIP negotiations of freeing trade and investment in commercial airline services. 

In a new study, transportation policy expert Kenneth J. Button argues that the objections to liberalization lack genuine merit, offers insights into how U.S. airline passengers and businesses would benefit from opening the domestic air market to competition, and urges the U.S. and EU governments to put free trade in commercial air services on the TTIP negotiating agenda.

Read the new study…