(UPDATE: participants need to schedule an appointment and fast 12 hours before getting blood drawn.)
Whether or not you smoke weed, giving up a little blood will get you enough to buy a gram.
University of Memphis students can participate in research performed by the Cardiorespiratory/Metabolic Lab to see the effects of marijuana usage on the body.
Those who choose to participate will visit for 30 to 45 minutes, provide a blood sample and be given $20 at the conclusion of the visit, according to the Cardiorespiratory/Metabolic Lab. Both marijuana smokers and non-smokers are encouraged to participate. All testing is confidential, and the studentâ€™s name will not be associated with any of the data recorded, according to the lab.
The Daily Helmsman tried to reach out to the researchers but did not get a response.
David T. Courtwright teaches courses in United States, medical, social and legal history at the University of North Florida. Courtwright is not conducting the study, but the professor said he believes marijuana can, in some cases, be beneficial.
â€œIâ€™m a skeptic on the net benefits of THC,â€ he said. â€œI do believe that the plant has plenty of other active ingredients that may prove therapeutically useful. Cannabis researchers have argued that the plant can help illnesses such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.â€
Courtwright received his bachelorâ€™s degree from the University of Kansas and obtained a doctorate from Rice University. He is currently writing a book entitledâ€œA History of Pleasure, Vice, and Addictionâ€ with the help of a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Grant Award. He also wrote an article entitled â€œScientists want to study marijuana. Big Pot just wants to sell itâ€ for The Washington Post.
Despite the $20 incentive, not many U of M students seem open to the idea of participating in a study that evaluates the effects of marijuana. Business major Tevin Hicks called the experiment â€œfishy.â€
â€œIâ€™m good on that; it seems a little too good to be true to be honest,â€ the 21-year-old marijuana user said. â€œThis sounds like thatâ€™s something an undercover cop would do. One minute Iâ€™m doing this â€˜experiment,â€™ and the next minute Iâ€™m locked in a cell with â€˜Big Bubbaâ€™ on a weed charge. Ainâ€™t no way in hell Iâ€™m doing that.â€
Criminal justice major Larry Morris shares Hickâ€™s views. The 24-year-old says he canâ€™t take that type of chance.
â€œIt sounds a little too suspicious,â€ he said. â€œI think they might be wearing a wire when Iâ€™m doing the experiment. One minute theyâ€™re going to ask if I smoke, then theyâ€™re going to ask where was I the night of Aug. 5 during the murder. Next thing you know, Iâ€™m doing life in prison. I think Iâ€™ll pass.â€
Art major Marcus Swearingen, a non-smoker, is one of the few students who are interested in participating. The junior describes the experiment as â€œfree money.â€
â€œAll I have to do is give a blood sample, and I get 20 bucks? Sign me up,â€ he said. â€œI wish my teacher would give me cash for participating in my chemistry exam.â€