Framework for Federal Cannabis Regulation

Representing DCFR on the Drug Policy Alliance’s Workgroup for Federal Cannabis Regulation, board member Dr. Rachel Knox has contributed to the development of a detailed framework to guide the development of federal cannabis regulations. This framework focuses on Ending, Repairing, and Preventing Harm when designing a law to regulate cannabis and proposes guidelines for addressing human, environmental, social and economic equity.


We must end the harms of cannabis prohibition by:

  • Acknowledging the history of prohibition and taking responsibility for the harms of it
  • Descheduling cannabis
  • Ending criminalization & punishment for cannabis
  • Limiting the consequences of cannabis use or convictions
  • Refocusing & reprioritizing enforcement by restricting federal law enforcement funding,
  • limiting the role of police and ending racially-biased enforcement

We must repair the harms of cannabis prohibition by:

  • Automatically expunging past federal cannabis arrests and convictions
  • Funding and incentivizing states to expunge state cannabis arrests and convictions
  • Establishing a just and equitable industry
  • Limiting barriers for people with past drug convictions from participating in the industry
  • Enacting a progressive federal tax to support an equitable industry
  • Ensuring profits are redirected back into the communities that have been most harmed

We must prevent further harm by:

  • Properly regulating cannabis to protect consumer health and privacy, the environment,
  • minors, and ensure fair and safe labor practices
  • Creating a federal oversight and accountability board
  • Limiting and tightly regulating large corporate entities
  • Encouraging and funding research
  • Protecting tribal interests and respecting tribal sovereignty
  • Ensuring international trade policies protect domestic producers and do not put unnecessary barriers on importation from traditional source countries

See full article on the Drug Policy Alliance Website here or ready the full report here.