By Holly Foster
Tatiana Bierut (Hamilton College ’18) is first author on a paper published in Prevention Science, the official publication of the Society for Prevention Research. The paper “Exploring Marijuana Advertising on Weedmaps, a Popular Online Directory” resulted from her 2015 summer research project.
Last summer, Bierut conducted research as part of Washington University’s Institute for Public Health (IPH) Summer Research Program, where she worked in the School of Medicine with researchers on drug addiction. Her project examined the content of marijuana advertising on Weedmaps, a popular website that markets marijuana retailers online. Her findings indicated that marijuana retailers have a visible presence on the Internet, and that potential customers might be enticed by retailers who promote unsubstantiated health claims about marijuana use. Such advertising may also make marijuana use more appealing for those under the legal age of use, who can engage with marijuana retailers via social media. As a whole, her findings can help to guide future policy making on the issue of marijuana-related advertising.
For students interested in public, global and pediatric health, the IPH Summer Research Program offers meaningful mentored research opportunities paired with a public health didactic program.
Under the direction of Dr. Patricia Cavazos in the Department of Psychiatry, Bierut was able to formulate a project, perform primary data collection and data analysis, and present the results of her research in a student symposium at the end of the summer. She then continued to work on the project in order to submit it for publication.
Bierut, a mathematics major at Hamilton, is from St. Louis, Mo.
Original article from Hamilton College.