BOSTON — As Massachusetts prepares to roll out retail marijuana sales, the state is devoting little if any money to researching the impact of legal pot use.
While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which tightly restricts scientific research of the drug, the state’s new pot law actually requires that regulators study the effects of its commercial use on public health and safety. But, to date, the state has provided scant funding to conduct that research.
“So much of what we know about cannabis use is speculative,” said Dr. Kevin Hill, an addiction psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “We need to study the effects of these policies, and we haven’t done it to the degree that we should.”
Hill, who wrote the book “Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth About the World’s Most Popular Weed,” said public policy in legalizing the drug has moved