I’ll be covering Cannabis Summit next week, with a focus on public health

When I typed “recovery” into Pixabay, this odd image popped up. Since my dad’s stock car No. was 37, I just had to use it.

When I fine-tuned the focus of my site and my expertise to include sobriety and cannabis together, I knew it wasn’t a wacky or even trailblazing idea by any means.

In fact, just today Ganjapreneur reported on National Institutes of Health-funded research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System in New York. A $3.8 million grant will examine 250 adults, half with HIV and half without. All will be under a microscope for a year and a half, with required drug and urine samples, about their illicit and prescribed opioid use. All are both receiving prescription opioids and also are registered with the state’s cannabis program.

Opioid overdose deaths and painkiller prescriptions have dipped where marijuana is legal.

Yet we know that sometimes even widely held ideas and beliefs don’t go anywhere with those who make decisions or influence them.

Check out my portfolio of paid work regarding matters of public health

Let me say with confidence that I’m certain “Sobriety with Cannabis” is going to become a “thing.” It already has been going on forever and ever. Nobody should be denied the peace from the plant, especially if they have tried more rigid ways to get “sober.” Gosh we need a new word for that anyway.

And I agree…nobody wants to be feel like they need anything. That makes us dependent!

People need love too, yet that’s not called an addiction. Unless you’re Robert Plant.

Find coverage here or on my Facebook page

In all seriousness, sobriety with cannabis will be discussed next week at the National Cannabis Summit in Denver. Whether it’s for my site or a paid client, you can count on coverage from me: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.

I’ll be covering the summit via web link.

Sessions I’ll be covering include:

Marijuana Legalization and Answers to Our “Drug Problem” presented by Harvard Medical School addiction specialists.

Cannabis Legalization and Public Health (very excited about this one) presented by Hilary Karasz, PIO for King County (Seattle) and Beau Kilmer from RAND Drug Policy Research Center.

What I’ll be looking for: No doubt, there will be a discussion regarding how to measure cannabis impairment among motorists. This discussion needs to happen. Driving stoned is very real. Some people may be able to handle it, but others can’t. You can’t make some people blow and not others.

Check out my portfolio of paid addiction/recovery content

I also hope there will be some sort of discussion about cannabis as an “exit” drug. There are too many people coming forward now with stories like mine – sobriety through cannabis – for this to continue to be ignored. There has, however, been an increasingly warm response to the idea of opioid addiction being a qualifying condition for cannabis use. In fact, no place is it warmer than King County.

The State of the Science of Cannabis. The science nut I am, this is another one I am especially excited about. None other than Susan Weiss, director of the Division of Extramural Research at National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal agency, will be presenting.

What I’ll be looking for: Anything and everything regarding moving us forward on proof of what we already know: Marijuana helps people get better.

Let’s Stop Asking, “Should we Legalize Cannabis?” Presenter will be Andrew Freedman, an attorney, co-founder and president of Freedman & Koski.

What I’ll be looking for: Not knowing exactly what Freedman might speak about, the program describes his firm as having “hands-on government experience effective implementing voter-mandated legalized recreational and medical marijuana while protecting public health.

Thanks to National Council for Behavioral Health

The summit is sponsored by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Many thanks to Aaron Cohen for alerting me to this important conference. You can check out their Facebook page and try to watch #Cannabis17 live for yourself. (Update: There were technical difficulties with audio Monday morning but I know they are working to fix it…if video does not appear, try restarting your device…you need a robust Internet connection…my $185-per-month Verizon unlimited business plan would not deliver this morning on any of my devices util I got out of range of my house).

If you don’t see a story here on my website, be sure to look on my David Heitz (@DavidHeitzHealth) Facebook page. I may end up covering some sessions for paid clients instead of my own site, and you will find those stories there.

Please like my Facebook page regardless, if you’re so inclined.

See you next week.

I also write about aging, elder care, elder advocacy and dementia. Check out my portfolio of paid work, which even includes an interview with former U.S. Secretary of Aging Kathy Greenlee on elder abuse.

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