Written for The Argo by Claire Stauffer
Stockton University is currently one of seven colleges offering accredited Cannabis Studies courses in the United States. These studies are extremely relevant to the demands of modern society; cannabis is beneficial in terms of health and economics. The uninformed stigma surrounding cannabis has gradually dwindled in recent years, which has led to an increase in states like New Jersey taking steps to legalize recreational marijuana. Subsequently, the United States has seen an increase in employment opportunities with approximately 77,000 cannabis-related field jobs created in 2020 alone. The growth of this industry reflects the great need for accessible cannabis studies in academia.
The study of cannabis is important for progress in American society, especially since medical marijuana cards have become so commonplace. Owners of medical marijuana cards range from those managing chronic pain to those struggling with symptoms of mental illness. Given the nation’s current opioid epidemic and the ineffectiveness of many psychiatric medications, many have turned to marijuana as a safer alternative.
However, there is still a need for more extensive research on the effects of cannabis. The social stigma surrounding cannabis in the past has led to poorly-funded, minimal research. Marijuana has been previously categorized as an extremely harmful drug, similar to heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, bath salts, methamphetamines, ketamine, and tobacco. Ironically, the aforementioned substances have had more extensive research conducted on them while remaining illegal. Marijuana, on the other hand, has only been given proper scientific research within the past two to three years. Therefore, there is still a long way to go in order to fully understand the benefits of using marijuana as an alternative treatment.