- Rachel Barry
- Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh UK EH8 9DL
- Research Interests
- Global health governance, drug governance, policy dynamics, policy coherence, lesson drawing, policy transfer and translation, low and middle income countries, Interactions between research evidence and public policy, frame theory, health policy, drug policy reform
Understanding marijuana policy change in Uruguay: Towards policy coherence to regulate health-impacting commodities?
My principal research interests are health policy, and global health and drug governance, with particular emphasis on the role of beliefs, evidence and institutions in shaping policy outcomes. My research at the University of Edinburgh has explored why and how Uruguay regulated the recreational marihuana market and the relevance of the promotion of policy coherence with tobacco and alcohol in that process. It responds to gaps in research on how policymakers in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) address complex issues such as the regulation of previously illicit markets, the challenges that they face in doing so, and uniquely explores how politicians and bureaucrats perceive that process themselves. My fieldwork was conducted between 2017 and 2018 with high-level government officials, politicians, civil servants, drug reform advocates, medical professionals and the commercial sector in Uruguay, through a case study employing interviews, field/participant observation and a documentary analysis. I examine the development of Uruguay's approach to marihuana regulation by exploring: i) what the significance is of existing global and national approaches to the regulation of marihuana, tobacco and alcohol; ii) how these approaches and frameworks are defined and used in practice; and iii) the barriers/opportunities that existing approaches and frameworks provide in the process of policy formulation and implementation.
Previously, I was a research associate at the University of California, San Francisco's Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education. This research involved analysing corporate interest in cannabis legalisation and the interactions between tobacco and alcohol policy on marihuana and e-cigarette policy debates and development, comparatively assessing US policies to regulate newly emergent legal markets. These various projects have been written up in journal articles, published in several high-impact journals including Milbank Quarterly, Addiction, Journal of Adolescent Health, PLoS Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health. One of my publications was later used by a group of medical professionals from Massachusetts in a 2019 statement of concern regarding efforts to regulate cannabis in the US (see: https://marijuana-policy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/MA-MJ-Policy_Statement-of-Concern-5-9-19_FINAL.pdf). I was also a member of the expert group California Lt. Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, Regulatory and Tax Structure Group, and an expert advisor for the Canadian Health Secretariat and the California Tobacco Control Program’s Loop Health Equity program.
Professors Jeff Collin and Sarah Hill (Global Health Policy Unit)
Awards and Scholarships
School of Social and Political Science Graduate School Studentship, University of Edinburgh (2016-present)
Graduate Equity Fellowship, San Diego State University (2011-2013)
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2009-2010)
MA Political Science, San Diego State University, USA, 2013
BA with Dual Discipline in International Relations and Spanish Language and Literature, California State University, Sacramento, USA, 2007
International Relations, Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina, 2009-2010
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Barry, RA. Unpacking the Socioeconomic Dynamics of Marijuana Policy Change: Why Does It Matter? JAH. 65, no. 1. July 1, 2019: pp. 5-6.
Barry, RA., Glantz, SA, Marijuana Regulatory Frameworks in Four US States: An Analysis Against a Public Health Standard, AJPH. 108, no. 7. July 1, 2018: pp. 914-923.
Popova, L. McDonald, E., Sidhu, S., Barry, RA., Richers T., Sheon, N., Ling, P., Dimensions of perceived harm of tobacco, marijuana, and electronic vaporizers among young adults in Colorado: A qualitative study. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.13854.
Cox, E., Barry, RA., Glantz, SA. E-Cigarette Policymaking by Local and State Governments (2009-2014). Milbank Quarterly. Volume 94, Issue 3 (pages 520–596). doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12212.
Barry RA, Glantz S. A Public Health Framework for Legalized Retail Marijuana Based on the US Experience: Avoiding a New Tobacco Industry. PLoS Med. 2016;13(9):e1002131.
Barry, RA., Hiilamo, H., and Glantz, SA. (2014), Waiting for the Opportune Moment: The Tobacco Industry and Marijuana Legalization. Milbank Quarterly, 92: 207–242. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12055.
Barry, RA., Glantz, SA. A Public Health Analysis of the Proposed Marijuana Legalization Initiatives for the California 2016 Ballot: Creating the New Tobacco Industry? San Francisco, CA: Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education; 2015.
Cox E., Barry, RA., Barnes, R., Glantz, SA. Tobacco Control in California, 2007-2014: A Resurgent Tobacco Industry While Inflation Erodes the California Tobacco Control Program. San Francisco, CA: Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. October 23, 2014.
Conferences Papers and Presentations
Barry, RA. Comparison of Regulatory Frameworks for Retail Marijuana to within a Public Health Framework: Evidence from Uruguay and the United States. Oral presentation for the 2017 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Conference. Florence, Italy. March 2017.
Glantz, SA., Barry, RA. Current Trends in Marijuana Legalization: Prioritizing Business over Public Health. Oral presentation for the 2016 American Public Health Association Annual Conference. Denver, CO, USA: October 2016.
Barry, RA. Regulating Retail Marijuana: Lessons Learned from Tobacco Control. Oral presentation for the 2016 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Conference. Chicago: March 3, 2016.
Barry, RA. Uang, Randy. Defending Public Health from Tobacco: How Far We’ve Come and Where We Can Go. Keynote presentation for University of Chicago Mid-Amerca Center for Public Health Practice Change Institute. Chicago, IL, USA: May 13-14, 2015. Available online at: http://www.midamericacphp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Defending-Public-Health_Randy- Uang-and-Rachel-Barry.pdf
Barry, RA. Waiting for the Opportune Moment: Tobacco Industry and Marijuana Legalization. Oral presentation for University of Chicago Mid America Center for Public Health Practice Change Institute. Chicago, IL, USA: May 13-14, 2015. Available online at: http://www.midamericacphp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Waiting-for-the- Opportune_Rachel-Barry.pdf
Rachel Barry on Proposition 64. 10 October 2016. Available at: https://newrevenue.org/2016/10/10/4957/
The Irony of Trump's Tea Party Following. Politikal Skeptik Blog. 8 May 2016. Available at: https://politikskeptik.wordpress.com/author/romanvera21/
Marijuana legalization initiative in California receives a leg up from venture capitalists. Politikal Skeptik Blog. 1 May 2016. Available at: https://politikskeptik.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/marijuana-legalization-initiative-in-california-receives-a-leg-up-from-venture-capitalists/
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Vague Response to UCSF Public Health Analysis of Marijuana Legalization Initiatives. Politikal Skeptik Blog. 14 February 2016. Available at: https://politikskeptik.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/lt-governor-gavin-newsoms-vague-response-to-ucsf-public-health-analysis-of-marijuana-legalization-initiatives/
Public Health Analysis of Marijuana Legalization Initiatives. Politikal Skeptik Blog. 13 February 2016. Available at: https://politikskeptik.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/public-health-analysis-of-marijuana-legalization-initiatives/
Policy Analyst for the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco (2013-2016)
Research Assistant for the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco (2015-present)
Research Assistant for Department of Political Science, San Diego State University (2011-2013)
'Organised crime, the business model and evolving drug governance debates' in Sociology of Illicit Markets and Criminal Organisations, Department of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh (2020)
Evidence, politics and policy, Department of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh (2020)
Understanding public policy, Department of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh (2019)
Population Health and Health Policy, Department of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh (2018)
Introduction to U.S. and California Government and Politics, Department of Political Science, San Diego State University (2012-2013)
Consultant, Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat, Health Canada (2016)
Consultant, Loop Health Equity Program, California Tobacco Control Program (2016-present)
Member, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and American Civil Liberties Union Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, Regulatory and Tax Structure Group (2014-2016)
Affiliations and Community Engagement
Member, Group on Research for Inequalities and Tobacco (GRIT), University of Edinburgh (2016-present)
Member, Health Policy Research Group, University of Edinburgh (2016-present)
Member, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Global Health Network (2015-present)
Media Appearances and Interviews
Print/Internet: Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Time Magazine, USA Today, Bloomberg, Mint Press, Vice News, News21, Discover Magazine, Healthline, Sacramento Bee, SF Weekly, East Bay Express, Center for New Revenue
Portuguese (read and write)