An Analysis and Revision of U.S. Federal Drug Scheduling

Author: Megan Fallon Faculty Mentor: Chrystina Hoffman, Ph.D. Department: Criminal Justice Institution: University of West Florida Institution Address: 11000 University Pkwy, Pensacola, 32514

The US Federal Drug Schedule evaluates the danger of each substance by the criteria written in the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), using standards such as its risk of dependency, potential for abuse, and any accepted medicinal uses. While these criteria can be used to describe a drug, this study is designed to critically evaluate the standard currently used and to suggest additional measures to use when placing a drug in the schedule. The study utilizes a thorough literature review of the current scientific research concerning the properties and effects of these drugs in order to critique the current system, add further measures, and exemplify this new standard in application to substances on the schedule. Recent research suggests that there are other properties that may impact their potential danger to public health, and upon further evaluation certain drugs may no longer meet the current criteria for the schedule they are placed in, such as marijuana. There is precedence for the alteration of drugs within the schedule, as fentanyl was recently redefined as schedule I in response to newly published data (DEA, 2018). This thesis is designed to use recent scientific data to further these responsive alterations to the CSA, which has remained majorly intact since its inception in 1971. The expected results of this study are to amend the criminal justice system and its effect on the one million people arrested for drug possession each year in the United States and their families (Prison Policy Initiative, 2020). This study will reevaluate the federal drug schedule and suggest improvements using new research to create a fairer and more accurate legislation to be enacted.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Megan Fallon

Institution: University of West Florida

Type: Poster

Subject: Criminology/Criminal Justice

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4069