Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

NIH to Spend $2 Million Studying the Negative Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado and Washington


Smokers High Life / Flickr

According to a grant outline posted on its website, the National Institutes for Health and the National Institute for Drug Abuse are offering $2 million to researchers who want to study the negative impacts of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.  

"In November 2012, voters passed ballot initiatives in the states of Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use," reads the "funding opportunity" at "We know little about the impact this shifting marijuana policy environment has had or will have on epidemiology, prevention and treatment of substance use, misuse, and related health outcomes such as HIV and other risk behavior (i.e. drugged driving)."

If the posting's suggested research topics are any indication, NIDA–which considers any and all marijuana use to be "abuse"–is only interested in studying negative ramifications of legalization: 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) encourages administrative supplements to research that will inform social, behavioral, and public health impacts of marijuana legalization laws/policies. This Funding Opportunity Announcement will support projects with the ability to harness these "quasi-natural experiments" currently underway in the United States to ascertain the effects of these recent changes. Research topics may include but are not limited to: Health outcomes (i.e. respiratory illness, learning and memory, psychiatric symptoms, etc.); Risk behaviors (i.e. drugged driving, sexual/HIV risk behavior); Educational attainment; Crime and delinquency; Moderation of prevention intervention outcomes; Changes in state prevention policies.  Secondary data applications which utilize national or state level longitudinal or panel data are highly encouraged.

Bolding mine. The NIH and NIDA will begin accepting applications on April 30. 

H/T Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority. 

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  1. the National Institutes for Health and the National Institute for Drug Abuse are offering $2 million to researchers who want to study the negative impacts of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.

    This must be that Scientific Method I’ve heard so much about.

    1. What is that, some sort of birth control, like the Rhythm Method? How does that work?

      1. It’s very similar, but much more big picture.

        Basically anyone who takes an interest in science reduces his or her chances of procreating to virtually nil.

        1. How so? Do they reduce their sperm count somehow? What about women?

  2. We know little about the impact this shifting marijuana policy environment has had or will have…

    Didn’t an entire country decrim all drugs over a decade ago?

      1. What a shock that that the Portuguese didn’t all run out and become heroin addicts after it was legalized.

        1. Just what do you think wrecked the European economy? Government spending?

          1. Austerity did it! At least, that seems to be the prevailing opinion among the progs.

            1. Nope. It was the libertine Portuguese.

              1. Cite where you got that please. TIA

    1. America is the only country in the world, especially when other countries do something that disproves our dogmas.

  3. The NIH and the CDC will study Tony’s ass warts if they receive specified funding along with applicable congressional and executive approval.

    Sure there are some “negative affects” of cannabis legalization that can be “researched” if somebody strains hard enough, but as with any voluntary action with things perceived as negative, the negative things are all based on forms of positive entitlement.

  4. Here’s some science from Washington for them: I got baked last night. That’s an impact, but I wouldn’t call it a negative one.

  5. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

    1. It’s perfectly okay to start hypothesizing before data has been collected. The problem with the NIH is that they seem to have already assigned their own values to the phenomenon of legal marijuana by primarily being considered with the “negative” consequences of legalization.

    2. You seem to have missed the NIH’s point here, Fist.

  6. I’ll volunteer to head the other study and start out with the premise: “to study the positive impacts of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.”

    Disingenuous asshats. If they’re going to throw money away, why not do so on a study of the impacts of legalization? Pros/Cons. Either way it is a waste of money.

    NIH – studying the negative impacts of liberty since 1798.

  7. Whatever happened to holder having a response “soon” or whatever BS he said most recently?

    1. He’s working on it. Things have just been crazy, lately. What with the Holidays, and the kids, and some other personal stuff, he just got really busy. But now he can start to focus on his response, and he’ll have it soon.

  8. I’m shocked. It’s almost like they know what the data will show before collecting the data.

    1. How much would you care to not bet that the report that is ultimately shitted out contains tons of weasel words about “potential” risks and “possible” consequences, and that “it’s too early” for all the horrible, horrible weed effects to be known?

  9. This is awesome. Hopefully we can get some objective researchers to show just how few and how minor the negative effects are.

  10. so what happens if positive effects are found? Will those cause the science to be unsettled, will it spoil the consensus, or will everyone just laugh and reach for the oreos?

    1. What part of “study the negative impacts” don’t you understand?

    2. Positive effects are simply negative, negative effects.

  11. Are there going to be studies on the negative impact of gay marriage or the negative impact on homebrewing in Alabama?

  12. Study has already been written, just need to collect the right numbers the right way.

  13. There is no more spending to cut.

  14. This is an example of pure, objective science, funded with plundered taxpayer dollars. It’s totally different from that evil, industry-funded psuedo-science from the greedy oil companies.

    1. I thought the point of the NIH was to subsidize health research so the greedy pharmaceutical companies can utilize the free research to make billions?

  15. I don’t know where these agencies get off calling this a “study”. Only looking at the negative aspects of anything tells you nothing about its worth. That makes this study worthless before it even starts.

    If you are going to study something I assume its to find out truth. If you study half of something I believe the result is a half truth.

    Money to be spent on half truths is more than wasted money. Its the purposeful propagation of lies.

  16. Why are the assuming negative impact. It sounds as if they already are looking for the worst instead of the facts.

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