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Humboldt State University launches marijuana research institute

Humboldt State University in California has launched an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to researching marijuana.
Marijuana 2012 09 27Enlarge
A marijuana plant growing at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Humboldt State University in Humbolt, California, has dedicated an institute to the research of marijuana. 

Humboldt may be the first to launch an institute purely for the study of pot. And according to economist Erick Eschker, the institute’s co-chair, who studies the link between marijuana production and employment in the county, it makes perfect sense. 

”If anyone is going to have a marijuana institute, it really should be Humboldt State,” Eschker told the Eureka Times-Standard. “It has the potential to be a world-class institute, and we're just getting going.”

The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research, as it is officially called, will sponsor lectures and have 11 faculty members from fields ranging from economics to psychology and sociology coordinating their research on the drug, according to the Associated Press.

”They finally tapped into something that's a big local concern and part of the identity here,” politics professor Jason Plume, who hosts a talk on marijuana regulatory reform, told the Times-Standard. 

The institute's founding is particularly timely, as voters in Colorado and Washington recently passed legislation to legalize marijuana, something that California has yet to do. 

More from GlobalPost: Marijuana legalized in Colorado, Washington