Dr Dreher began her cannabis research journey in the summer of 1970 as a Columbia University doctoral student in Anthropology, assigned to study the impact of cannabis on the productivity of agricultural workers in Jamaica. While conducting this early ethnography, she observed the abundant religious and therapeutic traditions the comprised the robust culture of cannabis in Jamaica. Her book, Working Men and Ganja, ushered in a series of cross-cultural studies on the role of cannabis in health promotion: symptom and illness management, neonatal outcomes, school performance, and the treatment of cocaine addiction.
As an NIH funded researcher, published author, academic dean, and public health official, Dr Dreher has used her academic and healthcare leadership roles to bring her work to the public, contesting misconceptions surrounding cannabis use. In recognition of her public service, she received the Lester Grinspoon Award for her sustained commitment to seeking and telling the truth about cannabis.