A question asked by some UCLA researchers might seem like an oxymoron for anyone raised on the now debunked “gateway” theory, the one that says using marijuana leads to using harder drugs:
That idea is one of many being explored at UCLA’s new Cannabis Research Initiative.
According to the Mercury News, the university quietly launched the interdisciplinary research center four months ago. The mission is to study how cannabis impacts society, looking at everything from public health and the environment to the economy and the legal system.
While a growing body of research suggests cannabis can help combat seizures, chronic pain and more, there’s a dearth of clinical studies to support much of the anecdotal evidence for other conditions.
With an emerging multi-billion-dollar industry backing studies that might push the benefits ahead of the overdue science, researchers say it’s good to be skeptical.
There’s no question that Americans love drugs. So how best to satisfy their lust for narcotics and other mind altering substances will be foremost on the minds of policymakers for the foreseeable future. Credible research will help.