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Effects of Schedule I drug laws on neuroscience research and treatment innovation

Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume 14, pages 577585 (2013) | Download Citation

Abstract

Many psychoactive drugs are used recreationally, particularly by young people. This use and its perceived dangers have led to many different classes of drugs being banned under national laws and international conventions. Indeed, the possession of cannabis, 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA; also known as ecstasy) and psychedelics is stringently regulated. An important and unfortunate outcome of the controls placed on these and other psychoactive drugs is that they make research into their mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses — for example, in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder — difficult and in many cases almost impossible.

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Acknowledgements

We thank V. Curran, R. Carhart-Harris and R. Doblin for helpful comments.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. David J. Nutt is at the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College, London, W12 0NN, UK.

    • David J. Nutt
  2. Leslie A. King was previously at the Drugs Intelligence Unit, Forensic Science Service, 109 Lambeth Road, London SE1 7LP, UK.

    • Leslie A. King
  3. David E. Nichols is at the Eschelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 USA.

    • David E. Nichols

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to David J. Nutt or David E. Nichols.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3530

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