WESTWOOD—The 2017 inaugural UCLA Cannabis Research Symposium will take place on Thursday, April 20, between 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the UCLA Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium.

The symposium will bring together researchers and professors from across various fields to discuss recent developments in cannabis research. The Brain Research Institute (BRI), the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group within the BRI will join together to host the event.

According to the event page, the motivation behind the symposium was the passing of Proposition 64, making California the largest population in the world with legal access to cannabis.

Jeffrey Chen, a UCLA medical student and co-director of the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group and founder of National Institute of Cannabinoid Research, told Canyon News that he was inspired by Sanjay Gupta’s documentary, “Weed,” to delve deeper into the research on cannabis use.

He indicated he saw in the documentary how children with epilepsy used cannabis to relieve their symptoms and that changed his standard default thinking about marijuana. Besides being a medical student, Chen also studies at the Anderson School of Management.

“I want to use my business knowledge to improve efficiency and standardize the way we go about on researching marijuana,” Chen told Canyon News.

Chen talked about the stigma surrounding marijuana despite its recent legalization and any potential ostracism from sponsors.

“We are neutral when it comes to its merits,” he explained, “we just want to get to the truth and research the therapeutic potentials or harms of cannabis use.”

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