When voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical pot. There was only one problem. Scientists still hadn’t firmly established marijuana’s effectiveness as medicine.
Some state legislators wanted to change that. They approached UC San Diego psychiatrist Igor Grant.
“My recommendation was, look, establish a center to study this,” said Grant, who’d previously looked into whether moderate marijuana use causes long-term brain damage (conclusion: it doesn’t).
“It’ll cost you some money but these studies have not been done before,” he told the legislators.
Soon, Grant found himself in charge of the new state-funded Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.