What’s the first excuse that anti-legalization advocates use when they are defending their position? There’s just not enough research yet; whether it be the long-term effects of use, if it could be harmful to children using it as a medication or whether or not it should be considered a medicine at all – the argument always ends with there just isn’t enough research yet. Well, with the abundance of taxes from the cannabis industry that were generated in Colorado it appears there may finally be some large scale research in only a matter of time.
On June 6th, Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill into law that awards $900,000 of the state’s Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to Colorado State University in Pueblo for the purposes of marijuana research. After that, the county of Pueblo also voted to allocate $270,000 of their county marijuana tax to the University, also with the interest of research in both the economic effects of legalization as well as the application of medical marijuana for various conditions.
“This is a momentous day,” the statement quoted Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace as saying. “I am incredibly excited to have real quantifiable data about how cannabis is affecting our community.”
The money will be used to create an Institute dedicated to cannabis research. The faculty will initially be made up of four or five current professors from sectors such as biology, psychology, chemistry and business. They hope that the Institute will be able to conduct viable research on the effect that recreational legalization has had on the communities – looking at it from different levels, retailers who work directly with communities, cultivation sites who tend to create the most employment opportunities and finally the intellectual property that may come from legalization.
“These studies not only have local interest but statewide and federal interest,” CSU-Pueblo Provost Rick Kreminski was quoted as saying “It’s an area that has been understudied, and I am appreciative of the taxpayers’ decision to use marijuana tax revenue for this purpose.”
When it comes to the medical research they hope to do studies on a number of different conditions including epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma and PTSD, among others. Hopefully over the next several years there will be more tax funds allocated to the school’s new program in order to keep this research going for years to come, so we can finally have some solid long-term data to compare to the very few long-term studies already available.