While marijuana may be legal in certain states, it's still illegal for scientists to research the drug in those states. But one Colorado university found a creative solution to the problem.
Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder created the CannaVan, a cargo van that's been modified to include a laboratory in the back. The scientists drive the fan to the home of a volunteer and run tests on them before they use marijuana. The volunteer then goes into their home without the scientists to use the drug, then comes back to the van for more tests.
The CannaVan helps get around several obstacles that prevent the researchers from getting the data they need. Scientists are often not allowed to purchase marijuana nor provide it to participants in studies. But if a person were to legally purchase their own marijuana and just so happen to get tested by researchers before and after legally using their own product, the scientists aren't doing anything wrong.
The researchers at Boulder are running a major study to determine what effects marijuana can have on public health. One of their biggest studies is determining how use of the drug affects a person's ability to drive. The researchers are in the middle of a three-year study of marijuana, and hope to provide their results soon. They're also hoping to purchase a few more CannaVans as well.
This is the one time we're going to encourage people to get into the back of a van with a stranger.
(h/t CBS Denver)