Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana: The Grass Could Be Greener

Sunday, February 19, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 311 (Hynes Convention Center)
The legalization of marijuana remains a topic of intense debate. The majority of U.S. states have legalized some form of medical marijuana use, and nearly 2 million people are registered medical marijuana users. That number is rising rapidly because of both increased access to medical marijuana and promulgation of its potential therapeutic effects. However, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical value and high abuse potential. This fact stands in stark contrast to state legislation on medical marijuana. Indeed, there is a lack of clinical research data on essential metrics that would allow doctors and patients to have educated discussions about the effectiveness, safety, dosing, route of administration, and product qualities that are important for guiding medical decision-making. Although the national climate has warmed toward marijuana overall, policies have generally outpaced the science and in some cases are either inadequate or misguided with regard to potential public health consequences. Many legislators, consumers, physicians, and the general public remain misinformed. This session describes recent advances in medical marijuana research, explores potential therapeutic targets, and highlights areas where additional studies are clearly needed to help inform and shape public policy.

Staci Gruber, McLean Hospital
Ryan Vandrey, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Mark Ware, McGill University Health Center
Cannabis Pharmacovigilance: Lessons From a Living Laboratory
Ryan Vandrey, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Cannabis Research and Policy: Lessons From the Lab and Field