Media Briefings

Cannabis: Health Effects and Regulatory Issues

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Friday, April 16, 2021, at 2:00 PM ET

The legalization of cannabis in some U.S. states has highlighted the importance of understanding the substance’s health effects. At SciLine’s next media briefing, three experts will discuss what is known, based on scientific research, about the effects of cannabis use on human health, including its therapeutic potential, its short- and long-term health impacts, and consequences of its use by adolescents. The briefing will also cover how the evolving regulatory landscape may be changing cannabis usage trends and affecting markets for other substances.


  • Dr. Ziva Cooper, UCLA
  • Dr. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, University of Southern California
  • Dr. Madeline Meier, Arizona State University
  • SciLine Director Rick Weiss will moderate the briefing.
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Dr. Ziva Cooper

University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Ziva Cooper is the director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative and associate professor in the UCLA departments of psychiatry and anesthesiology.  Her research involves understanding variables that influence both the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.  Her current projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the state of California include understanding the potential for cannabis constituents to reduce reliance on opioids, differences between men and women in their response to the pain-relieving effects of cannabis, and therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in patient populations.  Dr. Cooper served on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on the Health Effects of Cannabis that recently published a comprehensive report of the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

Dr. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

University of Southern California

Dr. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula is a professor and the Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics & Law in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on issues related to illegal or imperfect markets (health care markets, insurance markets, markets for addictive goods), measurement of these markets, and impact of policies. She has applied much of this knowledge to study addiction, addiction policy, and how the health care system delivers and finances treatment for addiction services. She was the lead investigator of several National Institutes of Health studies examining the impact of cannabis liberalization policies (decriminalization, medicalization and legalization), and is currently conducting NIH-funded work evaluating the impact of cannabis liberalization policies and markets on alcohol and opioids use and harm.

Dr. Madeline Meier

Arizona State University

Dr. Madeline Meier is an associate professor in the department of psychology at Arizona State University.  Her research uses prospective longitudinal and case-control designs to understand the causes, course, and consequences of problematic substance use, primarily cannabis use. Her main interests involve understanding how cannabis use affects both mental health and physical health across the lifespan. Dr. Meier also has expertise in using retinal imaging, a tool taken from ophthalmology, to understand the vascular pathophysiology of psychosis.