Cannabis for Medical Use: FDA and DEA Regulation in the Hall of Mirrors

Rebecca S. Eisenberg and Deborah B. Leiderman


A majority of Americans now live in states that purport to authorize medical use of cannabis, although federal law continues to prohibit both recreational and medical use. The current legal regime for cannabis is unstable and may be more effective at deterring research than it is at deterring medical use. Lack of data on medical cannabis products poses public health risks as well as policy and legal challenges. Modified regulatory approaches for other kinds of products provide alternative models for encouraging safety and effectiveness research and providing better information about cannabis products already in clinical use.