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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Aug;14(8):577-85. doi: 10.1038/nrn3530. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

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

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Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College, London, W12 0NN, UK.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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