J. Michael Morrison Jr., 36, a pharmacologist and research official at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, died of cancer Wednesday at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda.

Mr. Morrison, who lived in Washingtion, was executive secretary for the drug abuse biomedical research review committee at NIDA at the time of his death. NIDA is part of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration of the Public Health Service in the Department of Health and Human Services.

As executive secretary of the review committee, Mr. Morrison was responsible for reviewing all biomedical research, program project and career development grant applications assigned to NIDA.

Earlier in his careeer at NIDA, he had been responsible for monitoring outside research on the neurochemistry and neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse and also on the biomedical mechanisms of tolerance and abuse.

Mr. Morrison was born in Fairmont, W. Va. He earned a bachelor's degree at Wheeling College in Wheeling, W. Va., and a master's degree in pharmacology at West Virginia University in Morgantown.

He moved to Washington in 1968 and went to work for the Food and Drug Administration, where he worked on methods of detecting abusable drugs. He joined NIDA in 1974 and remained there until his death.

Mr. Morrision was a member of Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific research society, the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine and the New York Academy of Science. He was the author of several papers in his field.

Earlier this year, Mr. Morrison received a Special Achievement Award from the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

Mr. Morrison's survivors include his mother, Helen B. Morrison of St. Clairsville, Ohio, two sisters, Katherine Anne Volpe of Wheeling, and Marian Rectenwald of Charleston, W. Va., and a brother, Charles Barry Morrison of Oxford, Ohio.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.