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.