Evolving Economies of Cannabis

Lecture | September 25 | 6-7:30 p.m. |  Hearst Museum of Anthropology

 Dr. Beau Kilmer, RAND Corporation; Dr. Ann A. Laudati, UC Berkeley

 Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Botanical Garden

Two leading experts will speak about the economic and social implications of a growing global cannabis industry.

About this Event:
Cannabis in Context is a series of talks co-sponsored by the Hearst Museum and the UC Botanical Garden and curated by Eric Siegel, aimed at raising awareness of the multi-faceted life of cannabis in our modern society across cultures. This four-part series will be held every Wednesday in September at the Hearst Museum to complement the current exhibition, Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances and to celebrate the UC Botanical Garden's Year of Ethnobotany.

Dr. Beau Kilmer and Dr. Ann Laudati will present on topics regarding the social and economic impacts of cannabis in the Americas and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion and Q&A led by Dr. Sarah Seiter, curator of the Oakland Museum's 2016 exhibit Altered State: Marijuana in California.

Design Considerations for Legalizing Cannabis
with Dr. Beau Kilmer
Canada, Uruguay, and 12 jurisdictions in the United States have passed laws to remove the prohibition on cannabis and legalize supply for adults. Many of these jurisdictions allow large-scale production and retail sales, but this is not the only way to legalize cannabis. Those considering or implementing alternatives to cannabis supply prohibition will confront several decisions that will influence health, safety, and social equity outcomes. This presentation will briefly describe the cannabis policy landscape in the Americas and discuss some of the design considerations for legalizing cannabis.

Living Dangerously: Confronting Insecurity, Navigating Risk, and Negotiating Livelihoods in the Hidden Economy of Congo’s Cannabis Trade
with Dr. Ann Laudati
Narratives surrounding the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s rich natural resource base have been largely attentive to the way that resources shape the enduring violence in the region. Current policies regarding Congo’s cannabis trade, which advocate for its continued prohibition, exemplify such framings. Drawing on over sixteen months of qualitative fieldwork with those engaged in the production and trade of the drug, this talk presents a direct challenge to the narrative of violence, delinquency, and greed that currently foregrounds most discussions of Congo’s cannabis economy. It reframes the cannabis trade as a response to Congo’s landscape of insecurity, rather than a symptom of it. It offers evidence of how it is rather the plant’s illegality and the extra-legal networks its illegality engenders that are shaping the terms of this dangerous trade. In so doing, this paper seeks to confront how we understand the very terms of risk and insecurity as played out in the day-to-day lives of those who navigate through the hidden economy of Congo’s cannabis trade.

About the Speakers:
Dr. Beau Kilmer is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he codirects the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, and serves as a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with special emphasis on crime control, substance use, illicit markets, and public policy. Some of his current projects include analyzing the consequences of cannabis legalization; measuring the effect of 24/7 Sobriety programs on DUI, domestic violence, and mortality; and assessing the evidence and arguments made about implementing heroin-assisted treatment and supervised consumption sites in the United States. Kilmer's publications have appeared in leading journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and his commentaries have been published by CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Newsweek, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. His coauthored book on marijuana legalization was published by Oxford University Press and the second edition was released in 2016. Kilmer received a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Public Service Award for his “leadership and innovation in the areas of alcohol and drug-impaired driving program and policy research” and his co-authored work on 24/7 Sobriety received honourable mention for the Behavioural Exchange Award for Outstanding Research. Kilmer received his BA from Michigan State University, M.P.P. from UC Berkeley, and Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. @BeauKilmer

Dr. Ann A. Laudati is currently an instructor in the geography department at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work looks at the intersection between natural resources and violent conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo where she has been conducting fieldwork since 2009. Her most recent work focus on the creation of insecurity for Congolese farmers through the securitization of the marijuana trade and argues that the heavy emphasis on mineral resources misses other key natural resources that contribute to Congo’s violent landscape.

About the Moderator:
Dr. Sarah Seiter is a curator and technologist living and working in Oakland, California. Seiter believes that science can be a force for optimism, equity and social change for communities everywhere. She uses collaborative design and community engagement to create exhibitions and experiences that are personal, relevant, and social. Currently, Dr. Seiter is the Associate Curator of Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum of California.

About the Series Curator:
Eric Siegel, former Director of the University of California Botanical Garden, currently serves as the Project Director for the Music and Health Project at UC Berkeley. Since 1981, Eric has occupied senior roles in art and science museums such as the New York Hall of Science, Bronx Museum, New York Botanical Garden and Wave Hill Botanical Garden. He has taught, consulted, and published extensively in the museum field. Eric holds a degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan, graduated from the CORO Leadership New York program, and holds an MBA in arts administration from SUNY Binghamton. In 2014, Eric was awarded the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Exceptional Leadership in the Field by the Association of Science and Technology Centers.

The Museum’s newly renovated Gallery strives to provide excellence in accessibility for all visitors. The entrance and all exhibit spaces are wheelchair accessible and located on a single floor. Automatic door push-buttons are available at the front entrance. Content is provided at standard heights with all text in large, legible fonts. A variety of furniture is provided throughout the Gallery to provide resting points for all guests. All exhibit cases and displays are cane detectable. Public restrooms are located near the Gallery. With advance notice, we are happy to provide additional support for guests with specific needs. Please email pahma-gallery@berkeley.edu for more info.

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