In the past 22 years, 32 states have legalized and regulated marijuana for medical use. However, marijuana is scheduled as a Schedule I drug according to the federal government. This means that states have no specific regulations to follow for regulating marijuana for medical use. Because of this, states may be risking the safety of medical marijuana patients. Research was conducted to analyze the policies set out by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the regulation of a prescription drug. Since the FDA is responsible for the safety and efficacy of prescription drugs, this analysis included what types of risks were mitigated by FDA policies. State policies on medical marijuana were then compared to FDA policies in order to determine if aforementioned risks are being acknowledged and mitigated by states. This research found that states are implementing some policies similar to aspects of FDA regulations, but states are not eliminating nearly as many safety risks that the FDA focuses on eliminating. States are, however, creating additional policies that encompass social issues regarding the legalization of medical marijuana, which the FDA doesn’t do, which could be allowing medical safety to be analyzed in a broader social context.
Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Public Policy (CLA)
Stephan, Kayla, "State Policies of Medical Marijuana versus Food & Drug Administration Policies of Pharmaceutical Drugs" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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