Now Streaming: the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (will make you a better advocate)
Are you a cannabis advocate? Do you believe patients should have safe access to this important medicine? If you want to be a leader or an agent of change in today’s medical cannabis landscape (or if you just love to learn the latest about our favorite plant), you will want to watch this year’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference now streaming on Green Flower.
This is an annual conference organized by Americans for Safe Access, which was founded in 2002, with the main goal of ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
Since its inception, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has become the leading voice in America for medical cannabis patients.
At a time when a lot of focus and energy has been directed towards adult-use reform and the industry that goes with it, having a strong voice for medical cannabis patients is as important now as ever before.
A disturbing trend has been occurring in states that have legalized cannabis. In states like Oregon, Washington, and beyond, medical cannabis programs have been dramatically rolled back, and with it, affordable safe access for medical cannabis patients.
It is extremely important that as cannabis reform continues to spread across America, that patients aren't forgotten about. Americans for Safe Access is leading that effort, and Green Flower is honored to bring their conference directly to you, so you can easily watch without even leaving home.
[Editor’s note: You can view the entire lineup of the conference's panel presentations here]
The National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference
ASA has held its annual event, the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, for several years now.
The event has always had a special place in my heart since 2013 when the late great Jim Greig received ASA's 'Patient Advocate of the Year' award.
Jim Greig was a mentor to many activists, including myself, and ever since the award was given to him I have always made sure to check out the event.
Each year it has gotten bigger and better, and 2017 was no exception. No other event covers various areas of medical cannabis as well as the Unity Conference.
The cannabis world is evolving at a rapid pace, and medical cannabis is no exception. It can be easy to get lost in the avalanche of information, which is a big reason why the Unity Conference is so great, as it breaks everything down in a way that is easy to understand.
This conference is for medical cannabis patients, activists, lawyers and medical professionals interested in promoting safe and legal access to this plant for therapeutic uses and research.
The Latest in Medical Cannabis Research
One of the 'go to' arguments for medical cannabis opponents is that there is not enough research on medical cannabis. That claim is blatantly false.
Anyone with internet access can go to PubMed.gov and search for peer reviewed research on virtually any topic, including cannabis. A search for 'marijuana' yields over 25,000 results, which is more than hydrocodone and Tylenol - combined.
And despite the large number of studies already on the books, there is a big need for more research, which is not easy to conduct in America.
A number of hurdles are in place that hinder research, which is something that was covered in depth at the Unity Conference, in addition to the latest research that is being conducted around the world.
The Current State of Medical Cannabis Policy in America
Medical cannabis reform doesn't get as much attention as it used to due to adult-use cannabis reform victories in the last few elections.
But the fact remains that medical cannabis reform victories have been just as abundant this decade, with 29 states having legalized medical cannabis in a more-than-CBD-form fashion.
When CBD-specific legislation is included, there are only four states in all of America that have no form of medical cannabis legalization on the books (Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas).
Every state's medical cannabis laws are different, some states are fully implemented while others are not, and the medical cannabis laws in most states are still evolving.
The ASA Unity Conference is the best place to learn about the difference between states, and what to expect in the future.
How to Be an Effective Medical Cannabis Advocate
Arguably my favorite part about the annual conference is the portion of the event dedicated to activism. Without activism, there would be no medical cannabis laws in America.
We have come a long way with medical cannabis reform, but there is still a lot of work left to be done. Until every patient has safe access to every form of medical cannabis that helps them, there will always be a need for activism.
It is important for people to not only advocate for medical cannabis, but to also advocate in an effective way.
For a lot of people, that can be very difficult. Not everyone knows exactly what to say and what statistics to offer up in any given situation.
It is impossible to be dialed in 100% of the time, but there are some great strategies and facts that every advocate should know about so that they can speak about medical cannabis reform in a credible way.
If you want to become an effective medical cannabis advocate (which you should!), checking out the Unity Conference is a must. Suffering patients are counting on you!
You can get 24/7 access to the Unity Conference right now -- streaming only on Green Flower!
Do you consider yourself to be a medical cannabis advocate?