Marijuana & Endocrine Disruption: Past, Present, Future?

Honorable Mention, People's Choice Winter 2022

By: Monica Soliman, Nathan Tran, Medha Vallurupalli

Marijuana is the second most used substance in the country. Find out more about the past, present, and future of marijuana biology, research, and law!

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Marijuana is one of the most commonly used substances in the United States, second only to alcohol and yet the scientific community is unable to come to a consensus when it comes to the risks and benefits of marijuana use. While marijuana remains a widely-used drug, research on its health effects has been federally restricted due to policies (The Controlled Substances Act and the War on Drugs) that were not based in science, but rather false perceptions and biases. These policies have not only criminalized marijuana use, but also have restricted marijuana research due its classification as a Schedule I substance.

Throughout this magazine, we will reconstruct our understanding of marijuana through analysis from scientific and social interfaces. From the social perspective, you will find that our understanding of marijuana is rooted in systems of oppression against Mexican immigrants.

From a biological perspective, you will find that there exists preliminary research. Specifically, we focus on research in marijuana and endocrine disruption. For example, marijuana has shown to be an endocrine modulator for hormones like cortisol, luteinizing hormone, ghrelin, leptin, and PYY. However, in order to make informed decisions regarding professional opinions, policy, and personal use, we need much more than the research that is currently available.

In order to promote research on marijuana, we encourage you, our readers, to engage in citizen science to take part in the collective effort to make new discoveries about one of the most widely used substances in the country. We also encourage you to explore and continue ideating alternative solutions.

We hope you learn more about the past, present and future of marijuana and use this knowledge to push for science-informed policy."

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