CMCR Policy Impact

In addition to the publication and presentation of scientific results from CMCR-supported research, the Center has had significant impact and influence at the policy level. This includes both public and scientific policy, and has occurred at the local, state, national, and international levels. Below are examples of CMCR leadership and investigator involvement in policy-related activities.

State-of-the-art evaluation of cannabis as medicine. The role of cannabis as medicine is guided by national norms developed via expert interpretation of scientific data, as well as the identification of the gaps in knowledge.

  1. Served as authors and reviewers on the highly impactful review “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research” from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
  2. Provided an invited presentation on the role of cannabinoids in pain management to the NIH “Marijuana and Cannabinoids: A Neuroscience Research Summit”

Advice to governmental/research institutions/stakeholders. CMCR has provided its expertise as various entities address issues relating to legalization and potential methods for most effectively applying research funds emanating from legalization.

  1. Member of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, aimed at facilitating understanding of policy questions related to the legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in California
  2. Consult to US states initiating legalization and mechanisms for funding cannabis research
  3. Serve on advisory boards for newly initiated academic cannabis research centers
  4. Presentations on medicinal cannabis to meetings of various state political parties

Medicinal cannabis prescribing. The manner in which cannabis might be prescribed as medicine is influenced by the knowledge of individual providers. The CMCR has informed the field by contributing to efforts to guide “recommenders” on the knowledge, and gaps, regarding potential medicinal uses of cannabis, as well as guidance in best practices.

  1. Advised the Medical Board of California on the “Guidelines for the Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes”, including participating in Board meetings and providing key sample documents (i.e., Treatment Agreement), pursuant to California Senate Bill 643 (McGuire)
  2. Presented updates on recommending practices to local stakeholders

Cannabis and driving. A key concern regarding medicinal, and recreational, cannabis is the potential negative effect on public safety, in particular cannabis-impaired driving. In addition to past and current studies directly addressing the effects of cannabis on driving.

  1. Provided invited testimony to the Canadian House of Commons as they considered a bill to substantially revise laws regarding drug-impaired driving
  2. Currently serve on the California Highway Patrol Impaired Driving Task Force
  3. Participated in the statewide Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Roundtable, sponsored by the California Office of Traffic Safety
  4. Invited presentations to numerous entities concerned with the detection (e.g., California Association of Toxicologists) and consequences (Marijuana Prevention Initiative) of cannabis-impaired driving
  5. Provided invited presentation to government officials, prosecutors, and law enforcement leadership as part of a City/County of San Diego-sponsored training on marijuana awareness