With millions of dollars in order to study cannabis.
According to the department, $2.35 million will be spent on researching cannabis and its impact on driving – both individually (how it effects individual drivers), and societally (how it effects accident rates).
“This research will be invaluable in Colorado and across the country,” says Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “The findings will inform our public education efforts and give people additional information they need to make decisions about marijuana use.”
According to Wolk, funding will also be spent on researching cannabis’ impact on breast milk, including how long it stays in the milk of mothers who are nursing.
The Department has also provided grants for research on the effects of cannabis edibles, and for an “analysis of data from before and after implementation of recreational marijuana in Colorado”.
The money is available due to legislation Governor John Hickenlooper signed in June which allocated $9 million for cannabis research to be conducted over the next five years.
“Our intent is to be rigorous scientifically, but also to act with some expediency because these are products that a large percentage of our population is using today,” Wolk said at the time. “We want to make sure that what’s happening out there in everyday practice isn’t harming people.”
Although the research is focused specifically on Colorado, the results will clearly be meaningful to other states (and even countries) who are considering legalizing cannabis, or who have already legalized but are in the process of fine-tuning their laws.