Marijuana Under the Microscope: A Conversation with UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative

Photo via Nastasic

Is marijuana medicine? Is it addictive? Does it cause traffic fatalities? Can it stop the opioid epidemic? Will it kill my sperm count and give me breasts?

To answer these questions (well, except the last one), the University of California at Los Angeles created the Cannabis Research Initiative (UCLA-CRI), a multidisciplinary program staffed entirely by medical doctors and academic researchers. Their research will uncover cannabis’ roles in psychiatry, neurology, infectious diseases, hematology, cancer, and the behavioral sciences.

As weed is now legal in America’s largest state (and one of the world’s biggest economies), researchers, policy makers, and medical professionals are wondering what’s in store for a liberated but somewhat uncertain future. Luckily, as the stigma of cannabis use begins to fade away, it’s becoming easier for universities to study marijuana’s effects on society at large.

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