Humboldt State launches marijuana institute

In November, Humboldt State University implemented the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR).

The institution, located at 1 Harpst St. in Arcata, Calif., will house lectures and research conducted by 11 faculty members to integrate topics such as economics, sociology and politics into lesson plans.

For example, students will be able to study marijuana’s effects on wildlife, fertilizers, the economy and health, as well as its chemical and medicinal properties.

The idea started in 2010 when the Humboldt State faculty began discussing state propositions regarding marijuana. This research is led by HIIMR co-chairs Erick Eschker and Josh Meisel.

Staff members involved with the program commented on the school — which is located in a rich marijuana-growing area — and its decision to initiate the institution.

“If anyone is going to have a marijuana institute, it really should be Humboldt State,” Eschker said in a statement. “It has the potential to be a world-class institute, and we’re just getting going.”

When asked about the academic purpose of the marijuana institution, HIIMR creators have cited public knowledge as a propellor.

“With these public discussions [ballot propositions], there were a lot more questions than there were answers,” Meisel said.

The issue has spread nationwide and attracted the attention of public entertainers who have also commented on the matter, stating that weed education is not necessary.

Some UC Davis students have also commented on the story, expressing enthusiasm for the act.

“[Marijuana] seems to be a pretty big issue and I think it’s worth it to study the pros and cons,” said fifth-year genetics student Andrea Gero.

When confronted with the idea of a possible marijuana institution at Davis, Gero responded with positivity.

“I think that’d be fun. More people could get more info and data about it. I mean, you can’t condemn something unless you’ve got all the facts,” Gero said.

WENDY CHAO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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