Anna Ross

Senior Teaching Fellow


Anna Ross is an Senior Teaching Fellow in Health and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, and an Honorary Research Assistant at Drug Science. Dr. Ross completed her graduate studies in Law at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a Masters in Alcohol and Drugs Studies, and a PhD in Sociology and drug policy at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked for the Scottish Government on developing safeguarding protocol for charities, and the UK Government as the Special Advisor to the Scottish Affairs Committees Inquiry into Problem Drug Use in Scotland. In addition she has been on a range of advisory committees in Scotland, and set up the Scottish Drug Policy Conversations: a multi-stakeholder deliberative group exploring drug policy issues in Scotland.

Anna Ross has over 20 years experiences of practitioner work with substance use, and identifies as a lived and living experienced researcher. She is passionate about the human rights based approaches to drug regulation, and the developing research around cannabis, psychadelics and other drugs for  use for therapeutic and medicinal application.



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LLB (Hons), Dip. LP, MSc, PhD

Responsibilities & affiliations

Co-Convener of the CPASS Research Ethics Committee

Co-convener of Health, Bodies and Embodiment

Undergraduate teaching

I teach on the MA Health in Social Sciences, and in 2020/21 I will be the co-course organiser for Health, Bodies and Embodiment, and will be providing guest lectures on several other subjects. I am available for dissertation supervision and am interested in anything to do with drugs, recovery, engagement, alternative heatlh, as well as interesting concepts not written here.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current research interests

I am heavily involved in the medical cannabis research and activist based community and would welcome any interest - PhD or otherwise in this area. I have set up the Scottish Cannabis Consortium as a stakeholder led organisation to feed into Scottish Government cannabis policy. I also chair the (soon to be formal) Scottish Governments All Party Parliamentary Group on Cannabis in Scotland. I am the co-founder of the Scottish Psychedelic Research Group, and wellcome all interest in that area. I have been collaborating with Recovering Justice exploring the impact of criminal justice and social work interventions on women who use drugs. I woudl welcome any interest in this area. I am also very interested in the tensions between criminal justice and public health responses to populations and behaviour, as well as the use of psychoative substnaces, including cannabis, psychedleics and MDMA for medical or therpeutic use. There is little research going on in Scotland and I am keen to gather a network of interested stakeholders to take this forward. I am also passionate about stakeholder engaement, with my PhD focussing on participation within drug policy deliberation.

Research activities

View activity on Research Explorer

Project activity

I am involved in three projects at the moment:

Medicinal Cannabis in Scotland - I am currently working with medicinal cannabis parents and patients to develop clear guidlines on the prescritpion of medical cannabis. I this we are seeking engagement from a range of stakeaholders with a view to helping the Scottish Government develop a comprehnsive cannabis policy going forward. I am keen to hear from people who are interested in being part of this movement.

Scottish Psychedelic Research - I am the co-founder of the recently established Scottish Psychedelic Research Group. We meet monthly and are in the process of developing research in Scotland

I am working with Recovering Justice on an ongoing activism based project about the impact of drug related criminal sanctions on the health and wellbeing of women who use drugs.

Past project grants

Open Society Foundations Global Drug Policy Programme grant.
Edinburgh University SEED Fund

View all 3 publications on Research Explorer