National Boards of Pharmacy Conference Focuses on Medical Marijuana

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

ASA Media Liaison Kris Hermes 510-681-6361

National Boards of Pharmacy Conference Focuses on Medical Marijuana

Advocacy group presents on medical marijuana alongside AMA & other health experts

TUCSON, Ariz. - As pharmacists and drug regulators from across the
country convene in Tucson this week for their Winter symposium, they
will be discussing medical marijuana, an issue which is
headlining the agenda. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
(NABP) opens its symposium on Thursday with several presentations on
medical marijuana by an array of speakers and experts, including Caren
Woodson, Government Affairs Director with Americans for Safe Access,
the country's largest advocacy organization focused on the issue.

"We welcome the interest in medical marijuana by the Boards of Pharmacy
and want to work with them to address this public health issue," said
Woodson. "State Boards of Pharmacy can have an impact on medical
marijuana and we want to work with them to adopt sensible policies."
The Oregon Board of Pharmacy has been ordered to remove marijuana from
its state list of Schedule I drugs, per legislation signed by Governor
Kulongoski in August. In addition, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy is
currently considering rescheduling marijuana as a result of litigation.

Woodson will co-present on a panel Thursday morning with Barry D.
Dickinson, the Director of Science & Biotechnology for the American
Medical Association, and Alice Mead, the Director of U.S. Public
Relations for GW Pharmaceuticals, a U.K. company conducting clinical
trials for a medical marijuana extract. The panel is entitled, "Should
Marijuana be a Medical Option?" Later, Woodson will take part in a
point-counterpoint on medical marijuana with Dickinson, Mead and other
experts, including Andrea Barthwell, former deputy director for the
U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy and other marijuana
researchers.

The NABP symposium will be attended by Boards of Pharmacy executive
officers, members, and other state and federal regulators as well as
stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry. Both the California
Attorney General's office and the California Department of Public
Health are sending representatives to the symposium. Attendees will be
able to earn continuing pharmacy education credit for their
participation in medical marijuana panels.

The mission of the NABP is to assist its member boards in developing,
implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of
protecting the public health. The State Boards of Pharmacy oversee the
classification of controlled substances, such as marijuana, at the
state level, similar to the way that the Food & Drug Administration
(FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oversee the federal
classification of controlled substances. While state controlled
substance lists routinely match the federal list, the State Boards of
Pharmacy can change the classification of particular drugs independent
of the federal government.

The NABP symposium follows a report on medical marijuana issued last
month by the American Medical Association, in which the oldest and
largest physician-based group in the U.S. urged the federal government
to review the Schedule I status for marijuana. The AMA noted that
marijuana appeared to be efficacious for several health conditions and
said that further research was needed to assess whether marijuana
should continue to be considered a dangerous drug with no medical value.

Further Information:
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy 2009 Symposium Schedule:
http://www.nabp.net/whatsnew/meetings/2009symposium/

ASA National Policy Platform:
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/ASA_Natl_Policy_Agenda_09-11.pdf

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Americans for Safe Access is the nation's largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

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