Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

ADAI in the News – Cannabis Edition

Susan Ferguson, PhD

ADAI’s Director, Susan Ferguson, PhD, was recently featured in two news pieces about the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s move toward reclassifying cannabis as a less dangerous drug by lowering it from Schedule I to Schedule III. (What do these terms mean?)

In an article for the AP that discusses numerous impacts such a change might have on cannabis legality, taxes, banking, and more, Dr. Ferguson was quoted on impacts to scientific research, saying, “Reducing the schedule to Schedule III will open up the door for us to be able to conduct research with human subjects with cannabis.”

In a television news segment for an ABC affiliate exploring similar questions, Dr. Ferguson also notes that the change would allow researchers to “study the cannabis that people are actually consuming,” a reference to restrictions on research that have limited the types of products scientists can actually obtain for use in studies.

No changes to the drug’s scheduling have been made yet and the process is likely to be lengthy, involving multiple reviews and a public comment period.