Humboldt State University Launches Marijuana Research Institute

Arcata, CA – Humboldt State University has formed an academic institute devoted completely to marijuana, which seems fitting for a public university located in one of California’s prime pot-growing regions.

The newly formed Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research intends to sponsor scholarly lectures and coordinate research among 11 faculty members, reports The Huffington Post.

Their fields of study include economics, geography, politics, psychology, and sociology. Economist Erick Eschker, the institute’s co-chair, stated:

“If anyone is going to have a marijuana institute, it really should be Humboldt State.”

The institute is likely the first of its kind, and is dedicated to examining all aspects of marijuana. Eschker will study the connection between marijuana production and employment in Humboldt County.

The idea was first discussed by Humboldt’s faculty in 2010 when the state was preparing to vote on a controversial ballot proposition that would have treated marijuana like alcohol. Sociologist Josh Meisel, who is co-chairing the institute with Eschker, stated:

“With these public discussions, there were a lot more questions than there were answers.”

The Washington Post notes that, along with marijuana production’s effect on employment, the institute will also research the recent campaigns to legalize marijuana, like the successful measures in Washington state and Colorado. They will also study the environmental effects of growing cannabis.

With marijuana becoming legal for consumption beyond medical requirements, the institute may have even more reason to exist. Jason Plume, a politics professor at Humboldt, will give a lecture this week on the marijuana reform movement — one of seven talks the institute will hold this year.

What do you think of Humboldt State University’s new marijuana research institute?