Dec 17, 2016 12:15 PM

Colorado Researchers Receive $2.35M in Grants to Study Recreational Weed Legalization Impacts

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has announced it will spend $2.35 million on funding seven separate studies that will become a part of Colorado's Retail Marijuana Health Monitoring Program. The main goal of the program is to examine the impacts of the recreational marijuana legalization on different areas of Coloradoans' lives.

The Health Department started accepting grant applications in June. They received 58 preliminary applications from scientists who represent local universities and medical schools. Later, the number of candidates was cut to 16 and then again―to seven final projects that would be funded by the department.

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Most of the money was granted to two separated projects that will focus on marijuana use and driving impairments. The first project that will get over $843,000 is meant to study driving impairment comparing occasional weed users and heavy users. The second study will receive almost $840.000 and will focus on studying the effects of smoking cannabis concentrates on driving and cognitive functioning. Both studies will be conducted during the next three years.

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The other five projects will focus on:

  • The duration of marijuana presence in breast milk;
  • the effects marijuana consumption has on elderly people;
  • the adverse effects of weed edibles;
  • the cardiovascular effects of cannabis use in at-risk patients, and
  • analyzing data from before and after recreational weed legalization in Colorado.

The duration of each of these projects varies from one to two years.

Previously, the Health Department had announced it would spend more than $9 million on funding studies on the medical benefits of cannabis. The money for this program will come from medical marijuana patients' registration fees.

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