Massachusetts is a national leader in fields like biotech, life sciences and health care. Could marijuana research be next?
Marion McNabb, a doctor of public health and former global health worker, believes the state’s legalization of marijuana could encourage academics and scientists to conduct serious scientific research on marijuana — a field that has so far been lacking due to legal and financial barriers.
“My vision is Massachusetts could be the number one leading cannabis research state in the world,” McNabb said.
How to deal with marijuana is a major national policy question. Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, 29 states allow medical marijuana and another eight allow recreational marijuana. Policymakers routinely debate questions such as the impact of marijuana on opioid addiction, the drug’s safety, and the effects of marijuana on driving.
But experts say factual information is hard to come by because of a lack of scientific research.
Now, Massachusetts may have the potential to change that — if researchers can overcome the hurdles.
“Given the investment in technology, the staggering array of biotech and scientific expertise, it virtually ensures Massachusetts will be an important player,” said Staci Gruber, director of MIND, Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery, at McLean Hospital in Belmont. [Read more at Mass Live]