HEMPOLOGIST JOHN DVORAK REPORTS FROM AROUND NEW ENGLAND
The 6th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, held in Rhode Island in April 2010, was sponsored by Patients Out of Time and hosted by the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition.
Researchers are looking at cannabis in minute detail, discovering the myriad properties of this complicated plant. Presenters marveled at the incredibly low toxicity and mild side effects of cannabis. While the amount of research into cannabis has jumped significantly, its classification as a Schedule I narcotic is stifling in-depth research in America.
Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center has been screening cannabis for mold and identifying high CBD varieties which are being offered to Harborside's clients. Just as DeAngelo's Ecolution hemp company helped legitimize the fledgling hemp industry in the 1990's, his Harborside enterprise is again setting the standard for excellence.
Nurses are effecting change in several states. Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, an organizer of the event, noted that cannabis is not a gateway drug but an exit mechanism from opioids, alcohol and tobacco. The American Cannabis Nursing Association helps nurses present a unified front against restrictions placed on therapeutic cannabis.
Despite impressive advances in research, the stigma attached to cannabis users still results in many doctors refusing to write recommendations. Patients are justifiably afraid that they could lose their job or custody of their children if it becomes known that they use cannabis medicinally. There are also biases at the institutional level: some hospitals will not submit their patients into state run medical marijuana programs. These prejudices can not be properly dispelled until cannabis is removed from Schedule I, so that it can be studied to its fullest extent utilizing America's world class R&D resources.