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$9m gift to Harvard, MIT is a major step toward clearing the air on cannabis


Harvard and MIT’s decision to accept a $9 million donation for scientific research on cannabis’s effects on brain health and behavior is a milestone (“Harvard, MIT share $9m gift for pot studies,” Page A1, May 1). Federal prohibition has stifled cannabis research until recently, and legalization should go hand in hand with scientific inquiry into cannabis. Here in California, as other states have done, Proposition 64 earmarked millions to fund further scientific research on cannabis by California universities. We know so much about a vast array of substances at this point, yet very little with scientific certainty about cannabis, which is now nearly ubiquitous.

We are entering a new era with state cannabis legalization, and I can only hope that scientific research will be advanced and furthered as quickly as possible so that we can determine what possibilities cannabis holds.


In addition to scientific studies, we need more social scientific research on the long-term implications and economic effects of cannabis legalization as well as on the best ways to tax and regulate cannabis. All types of research into cannabis should be expanded rapidly as federal legalization becomes more and more possible, if not probable, looking ahead to 2020.

Lauren Estevez

Los Angeles

The writer is an attorney specializing in cannabis law.