Great article. Its fair to say that there are some "drug dealers" taking advantage of the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and using it primarily to make great profits. However, more importantly seriously ill patients are able to legally access this remarkably safe medicine that in many cases greatly improves their quality of life. Over the past 2 decades researchers around the world are learning more and more about the newly discovered endogenous cannabinoid system. Yes, folks - all humans have receptors for cannabinoids and all humans make their own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) that are essential to life and are responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Cannabis/marijuana is the ONLY plant that has these same cannabinoids (phyto-cannabinoids) and this new research helps us understand how and why this plant has such a wide array of therapeutic effects. Patients Out of Time is a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating health care professionals and the public about the therapeutic use of cannabis. This year Patients Out of Time celebrates its 15th anniversary (see www.medicalcannabis.com) and the 10th anniversary of its biennial series of accredited clinical cannabis conferences. The Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick-Providence, RI on April 15-17, 2010 and will feature an international faculty of researchers, clinicians and patients. coming from Israel, Professor Raphael Mechoulam, the father of modern cannabis research, will be the keynote speaker and will review the major research findings beginning with his isolation of THC in 1964 to the new discoveries about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The conference is co-sponsored by the University of California San Francisco's School of Medicine and will provide continuing education units for health care professionals. This conference will provide evidence-based research that supports the efficacy of cannabis.
Also of interest at this conference will be an organizational meeting of the newly created American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and a founding meeting of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.
For those unable to attend the conference, you can find the 2006 and 2008 conference proceedings available for continuing education through UCSF School of Medicine's online continuing education website via a link on www.medicalcannabis.com. Its way past time for cannabis to re-enter mainstream medicine and for health care professionals to learn about the efficacy of this herbal medicine. And its way past time to end the "reefer madness" lies and myths about this plant. Sincerely, Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, President and Co-fonder of Patients Out of Time.
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