Drug policy reform is a term used to describe proposed changes to the way most governments respond to the socio-cultural influence on perception of psychoactive substance use. Proponents of drug policy reform believe that prohibition of currently illegal drugs such as cannabis, opioids, cocaine, amphetamines and hallucinogens has been ineffectual and counterproductive. They argue that rather than using laws and enforcement as the primary means to responding to substance use, governments and citizens would be better served by reducing harm and regulating the production, marketing and distribution of currently illegal drugs in a manner similar to (or some would say better than) how alcohol and tobacco are regulated.
The science of cannabinoids is 50 years old. These past years provided a remarkable and constant number of breakthroughs, showing that the signaling mediated by endocannabinoids and lipid mediators impacts almost every function of the body. Indeed, this represents a special field of research, which allows tackling the complexity of biological functions, and provides potential therapeutic frameworks for a plethora of diseases. The number of exciting discoveries brought up to the scientific community almost on a daily basis highlights the importance of an updated volume on this topic. Particularly, given that potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids are currently under heavy analysis in many Countries worldwide. Hence, the main objective of this book is to explore not only some of the many functions of endocannabinoids (and lipid mediators) in physiological control of networks at a cellular and molecular level, but also to extend this knowledge for potential use of cannabinoids and/or drugs regulating endocannabinoid levels in vivo as therapeutic target(s) in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. In this book new findings and ideas about the endocannabinoid system and its roles as neuronal circuit modulator related to human brain pathologies characterized by alterations in neuroplasticity will be highlighted. Endocannabinoid roles in key systems controlling appetite, pain, learning and memory, as well as sleep and stress responses will be presented. In addition, pathological processes associated with changes in endocannabinoid signaling will be discussed in the context of anxiety, autism, depression and addiction. This book will provide an excellent background to researchers looking for extending their areas of interest, and to newcomers in the field.