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November 27, 2012 4:22 PM The Marijuana Institute

By Daniel Luzer

Students may still not be able to smoke pot on campus in Colorado or Washington State (at least not officially) but that hasn’t prevented California’s Humboldt State University from creating a institute for the study of marijuana, the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.

According to an article by Luke Ramseth in the Eureka Times-Standard:

A first-of-its-kind academic institute focused strictly on marijuana issues is taking shape at Humboldt State University this fall semester. The interdisciplinary institute, made up primarily of HSU faculty, is hosting a series of lectures that are open to the public and digging into marijuana-centric research in several academic fields.
[Sociology professor Josh] Meisel said he and other university faculty saw something lacking from the discussions surrounding legalization.

And apparently what’s lacking is legitimate research. As Ramseth explains:

”With these public discussions, there were a lot more questions than there were answers,” [Meisel] said, which motivated some HSU faculty like himself to go after the topic in an academic context — not one steeped in “conjecture” and “wild claims.”

Technically there are already several institutions like, say, Oakland’s Oaksterdam University, “America’s first cannabis college,” that research marijuana. HIIMR is, however, the country’s “first pot institute at an accredited university.”

Note that while “conjecture” and “wild claims” might dominate discussions that occur when people are high (e.g. “All of the characters on Scooby Do are based on the 5 colleges”), it’s not actually dumb claims the institute will “go after.”

One of the lectures in October featured the country sheriff, the district attorney, and a Fish and Game biologist discussing the “environmental impacts of marijuana production, and possible policy changes.”

At long last, the wild claims about marijuana and trout spawning may be coming to an end, right?

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer