There is growing interest by national governments in exploring the adoption of legislation to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis markets. As such, a range of stakeholders is increasingly seeking clarification on whether such a policy change is in compliance with international law. This policy brief responds to this need by outlining four potential policy pathways for national governments to align their international legal obligations with domestic legalization of recreational cannabis, using Canada as a primary case study. By employing a transformative scenario planning (TSP) process, this policy brief aims to inform key stakeholders of the opportunities and challenges associated with a range of policy scenarios.

TSP involves an investigation of current political and international trends to construct relevant and plausible scenarios. Importantly, the TSP process does not predict the most likely or unlikely scenarios, nor does it seek to determine whether certain scenarios are preferable. Instead, this process articulates the potential policy space available to policymakers, and it is hoped that in this way, allows for a consideration of the full range of policy options.

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