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Dr. Sexton at Los Angeles Drug Policy Alliance Event November 12, 2014

Dr. Sexton at Los Angeles Drug Policy Alliance Event November 12, 2014


by Terrie Best

On November 12, 2014, The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization promoting drug policies grounded in science, hosted the Marijuana and Public Health conference in Los Angeles, CA. The event, held in the Barnsdall Gallery Theater, was attended by cannabis policy watchers from across the state. The main mission of the conference was to inform California citizens, public health officials, policy makers and stakeholders on lessons learned from Colorado and Washington’s marijuana legalization programs and the public health impacts of those programs.

The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy’s Dr. Michelle Sexton spoke at the conference. Her message was clear: any cannabis legalization efforts in California must preserve patient rights garnered under Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420. Adult use of cannabis and medical use of cannabis should be regulated independent of each other. Dr. Sexton is opposed to regulating medicine as a vice in the manner of alcohol and tobacco and hopes the medical cannabis portion of any program will be regulated through a consumer protection or health agency. Dr. Sexton emphasized addressing the unnecessary vulnerability California patients receive in the form of diminished reliable access and civil rights. And, she believes patient rights to grow their own medicine should be preserved to address any access voids or to guarantee access to strains not available in the wider legalized market.

The panel of experts included several providers who tended to agree with Dr. Sexton that standardized testing, is the precursor to accurate dosage labeling and should also be part of the dialog to protect patients as the legalization law is written.

The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy thanks the Drug Policy Alliance for hosting the event and inviting Dr. Sexton to speak. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of drug policy conversations that are backed by research and science and we look for to more opportunities to collaborate.

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