American Nurses Association Calls for Patient Access to Medical Cannabis/Marijuana.
June 30, 2003
Patients Out of Time, represented by the non-profitâs President, Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, testified on Thursday, June 26 at the American Nurses Associationâs 2003 House of Delegates Meeting. Held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC from June 24-27, Nurse Mathre had come a long way when she stood and addressed the Delegates.
In 1994 ãMLä met with District Presidents of the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) and presented a science based introduction on the merits of therapeutic cannabis. They asked Mathre to draft a position paper on the subject that was approved by the association in 1994 and 1995. Follow up letters from Patients Out of Time to other state nursing associations has resulted in those of HI, MS and NM among a total of 11 issuing similar documents. The American Public Health Association and the National Nurses Society on Addictions, among dozens of professional health care groups (see list at ) have issued similar "white papers."
In 1995 the influential New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) adopted VNAâs position paper and petitioned the ANA to adopt VNA policy. In 1996 ANA declined to adopt the VNA position but did agree that Registered Nurses should receive science-based education about therapeutic cannabis and that it should to be continuously studied in "controlled clinical trials."
This year the NYSNA again submitted a resolution concerning medical cannabis and they asked Mathre to speak on behalf of the proposed policy change. "Nurses provide direct care to patients and we are above all else patient advocates. This resolution is not a policy change that is in any form a departure from our professional goals and ethics. This resolution in fact validates our commitment to the patient and our communal commitment to providing the most appropriate care."
The resolution passed overwhelmingly.
Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis
Therefore Be It Resolved That the American Nurses Association will:
1. Support research in controlled investigational trials on the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana/cannabis, including alternative methods of administration.
2. Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.
3. Support the ability of health care providers to discuss and/or recommend the medicinal use of marijuana without the threat of intimidation or penalization.
4. Support legislation to remove criminal penalties including arrest and imprisonment for bona fide patients and prescribers of therapeutic marijuana/cannabis.
5. Support federal and state legislation to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.
6. Support and encourage the education of registered nurse regarding current, evidence-based therapeutic use of marijuana/cannabis.
Patients Out of Time
(434) 263-6753 fax
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1472 Fish Pond Rd.
Howardsville, VA 24562