A Modest Proposal for Drug Scheduling

I ain’t got no home, I’m just a-roamin’ ’round,
Just a wandrin’ worker, I go from town to town.
And the police make it hard wherever I may go
And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore

I am pretty sure Woody Guthrie was not singing about the Controlled Substances Act, but his lyrics might well have been voiced by cannabis sativa, which just doesn’t seem to fit comfortably anywhere in our current drug schedules.

The heart of the problem is that Schedule I for non-medically approved drugs is a grab bag of substances which vary both in riskiness and therapeutic potential. I lay out a different way to construct Schedule I that could increase the value and credibility of Scheduling for a range of drugs including but not limited to cannabis in Washington Post’s In Theory section.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. He served as a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2009 to 2010.