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Public Health Impact of the Changing Policy/Legal Environment for Marijuana (R01)

Grant Amount: NIH intends to fund an estimate of 6-10 awards, corresponding to a total of $3 million for fiscal year 2015.

Public opinion around marijuana use has become increasingly positive and permissive, despite the lack of scientific data on the short and longer term outcomes among exposed children, adolescents, and even adults. Changes in marijuana policy and legal status are gaining momentum, yet we know little about the impact these shifts have had or will have on epidemiology, prevention and treatment of marijuana and other substance use or disorders, related social and health outcomes such as education and professional achievement, other risky behaviors (e.g. drugged driving) and other disease incidence or prevalence (e.g., HIV, mental illness). While modest increases in prevalence of marijuana use coupled with decreases in the perception of harm associated with marijuana use have been seen in recent years, given the current social climate around marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes it is reasonable to anticipate continued fluctuations in trajectories of use and attitudes. Therefore the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is encouraging population-based research on social, behavioral, and health outcomes of marijuana involvement to help inform the public health impact of the changing marijuana environment.

Scientific evidence on a range of outcomes associated with various levels of marijuana exposure has not kept pace with other aspects of marijuana use. The patterns of use, potency, sources, availability, administration, public perception, and legal status are significantly different than they were when marijuana rose to popularity in the US in the 1970's, and research describing the impact of these factors and their fluctuations is encouraged. The ultimate purpose of these data will be to inform policy and health care practices related to prevention and treatment of marijuana-related conditions within a rapidly shifting social environment.

This initiative seeks to delineate a broad range of outcomes of marijuana both direct and indirect exposure among children, adolescents, and adults. Population-based studies could include but are not limited to research in the following areas:

social and emotional development and maturity;
educational and employment attainment;
teen and adult life transitions;
physical and mental health;
criminal justice involvement (arrests, underage violations, public intoxication, impaired driving);
composition/potency of marijuana; mechanisms of risk and causality;
impact on polysubstance use, including interactions (substitute/complement) with alcohol, tobacco, and prescription opioids;
impact of taxation and regulatory strategies;
effect of cultural change on marijuana use and outcomes.
Research directly related to marijuana law/policy is not required; rather the focus of this call for research is to build knowledge on the social, behavioral, physical, and public health impacts of marijuana involvement. Given the broad nature of needed research on outcomes of marijuana use, both domestic and foreign sites for research are encouraged and use of appropriate controls is recommended. Resulting evidence can be used to inform marijuana policy discussions. Analyses which utilize existing national or state level longitudinal or panel data are highly encouraged.

Funding Organization
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Fund Category
Support Types
Eligible Organizations
City Agencies
Commercial Organizations
Community Based Organizations
County Agencies
Educational Organizations/Institutions
Federal Government Agencies
International Agencies
IRS 501 (c)(3) Organizations
Nonprofit Organizations
Religious Organizations
State Agencies
Tribal Organizations
Number of Awards Given
6 to 10 awards
Award Amount Notes
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

NIH intends to fund an estimate of 6-10 awards, corresponding to a total of $3 million for fiscal year 2015. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.
Application Due Date
Project Start Date
9/1/2014 -- or 12/01/2014: Advisory Council Round for Cycle I applications may be August or October, and their earliest project start date may be September or December respectively.
Application Contact
Phone: (301) 435-0714
Technical Contact
Marsha F Lopez
Phone: (301) 443-6504
Fund Duration
Up to 3 years.
Behavioral Research
Drug Abuse
Education and Prevention
Policy Development
Research Programs
Substance Abuse Treatment and Counseling
Application Process
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Web Site
Fund Number

Disclaimer: NPIN provides this information as a public service only. The views and information provided about the materials, funding opportunities, and organizations do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, or NPIN. Fund Record #4770

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