State of Knowledge on Cannabis: Pharmacology and Public Health Risks

Point of Contact


Recent efforts to liberalize cannabis-related laws have included proposals to reclassify it relative to its current status as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 or even remove it from the it Controlled Substances Act altogetherIt is important for such efforts to be guided by the best available science and public health data. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working with researchers at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation to compile data to inform these efforts. 

Project Goal and Plan

The goal of this project is to synthesize existing scientific evidence regarding cannabis use and decriminalization in terms of the factors used to determine how drugs are classified under the Controlled Substances Act.  

This research will review existing literature on the pharmacological effects of cannabis as well as the public health risks, including potential abuse and dependence and implications for traffic safety. The review will focus on seminal publications, systematic reviews, and high-quality research published since the most recent systematic reviews. A final report will provide high-level summary of the findings of the literature review, along with corresponding fact sheets that will include citations of relevant references. 


Lindsay Arnold

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety