American Bar Association and National Institute on Drug Abuse are encouraging medical cannabis research


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Could cannabis reform be on the horizon for the United States of America? Based on recent news, there’s a good chance .

Recent reports have revealed how the American Bar Association (ABA) wants to stop pot prohibition once and for all. A resolution has been adopted by the ABA to prompt further research into the plant’s safety and efficacy as a medical treatment. 

The Association’s primary goal is to encourage the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to amend cannabis’ classification as a Schedule I substance. Currently, the plant is listed in the same category as more dangerous drugs, such as heroin, LSD and crack cocaine. In an attempt to stimulate medical cannabis research and reschedule cannabis as per the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the ABA wrote the following information in its resolution:

“RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact legislation to 1 exempt from the Controlled Substances Act any production, distribution, possession, or 2 use of marijuana carried out in compliance with state laws;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact 5 legislation to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled  Substances Act, 21 6 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq.; and

FURTHER  RESOLVED,  That the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact 9 legislation to encourage scientific research into the efficacy, dose, routes of 10 administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis 11 products in the United States.”

The plant’s Schedule I classification has put the breaks on medical cannabis research in the U.S. However, with the ABA adopting a resolution to encourage scientific research into the cannabis plant’s safety and medical efficacy, things are certainly moving in the right direction for cannabis reform in the U.S.

In addition to this, a reference made by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in regards to a 2018 report assessing “cannabis policy research areas with the greatest urgency and potential for impact” is sure to act as a catalyst for research into the drug.

Some focal points of the agency’s issued notice include exploring the effect(s) that federal, state and local cannabis policies have had on public health since they were implemented. They strive to develop “standards for measuring cannabis (including hemp and hemp product) dose, intoxication, and impairment.”

In doing so, the NIDA will be able to explore “the physical and mental health antecedents of use, as well as outcomes of use,” which will eventually lead to the investigation of cannabis’ genetic composition. With a better understanding of plant heterogeneity, public health risks can be avoided.

Furthermore, the NIDA says that it hopes to persuade more researchers to apply for grant applications on the repercussions of cannabis’ ever-changing legal landscape, such as its effects on public health.