BY RUTH HILL R.N.
A watershed in the legalization of marijuana occurred after the 2018 midterms. Michigan voted for adult use they already have legal medicinal use, Utah voted to legalize medicinal use, Missouri, tied up in knots with three measures on the ballot, legalized Amendment Two with 65.5% of the vote, Sessions is gone, and the House is now controlled by the democrats.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer from Oregon issued a blueprint to the Democrats in October 2017 on how to bring the federal laws in line with state laws ending prohibition on marijuana by the end of 2019. This blueprint will be front and center for implementation with Democrats controlling the House. Three of the steps include immediate House Judiciary Committee hearings on de-scheduling marijuana; House Veterans Affairs Committee hearings on safe and equal access to medical marijuana for veterans; and House Financial Services Committee hearings on eliminating unnecessary and unwise barriers to the safe access of banking services and capital for state legal marijuana businesses.
The FDA in 2018 not only approved the use of GW Pharmaceuticals Epidiolex (CBD) it reclassified this cannabis drug from Schedule I to Schedule V. Epidiolex is the first US cannabinoid oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol, or CBD. This leaves doctors in a quagmire as on the one hand it is legal to prescribe for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome how then is cannabis illegal? Can physicians use Epidiolex off label to treat seizures in cancer patients?
Both the American Cannabis Nurses Association and the National State Boards of Nursing Council issued marijuana guidelines for nursing practice in 2018. Nurses have the imprimatur to teach patients about the endocannabinoid system, the pharmacology of marijuana, and the freedom to advocate policies for safe access while delivering non-judgmental care.
It will not be long before the Joint Commission of Accreditation for Hospitals and Home Health Agencies mandate marijuana guidelines for accreditation. Federal legalization has the best chance in 2019 to end the seventy year prohibition of a plant used legally for 5000 years. Nurses and doctors need to catch up to the scientific knowledge of cannabis that is already known by the public.
Cannabis in the last forty years had become the most researched drug in the history of drug research since Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a scientist from Israel, created the scientific bridge between Cannabaceae and medicine by isolating in 1964 delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) molecule, the most famous, which gives the stigma to marijuana.
In 1999 the Institute of Medicine produced the first 257 page scientific and clinical report supporting medical marijuana use. Also, in 1999 the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) was established at the University California San Diego, where research on treating autism with cannabis is being conducted. The International Cannabinoid Research Society has 28 years of worldwide research published on medicinal use of cannabis. http://icrs.co.
I continue pursuing my goal of educating as many professionals and the public as I can. With that in mind I invite you, your neighbors, your doctors and anyone you can bring to a lecture by the Desert Area Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society (DACONS) on Palliative Care in Oncology and Cannabis Therapeutics on Tuesday November 20, 2018 at Venus de Fido. DACONS is the local chapter of the national Oncology Nursing Society. It was formed twenty-five years ago to give nurses in the Coachella Valley access to education on the various trends, uses, side effects and patient teaching information for oncology pharmaceuticals.
Come join us for an entertaining evening at Venus de Fido. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is catering a meat carving station, a thanksgiving meal will be presented, and exciting prizes will be given to lucky winners. Network with Dr. Aikens, myself, vendors and other professionals learning about the medicinal use of cannabis. RSVP www.venusdefido.com/dacons/
Ruth A Hill RN, President DACONS, a cannabis nurse navigator, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org