Medical marijuana, role of the nurse, professional organization - page 5

It would be nice if we could have an intelligent and professional discussion about this topic without a whole lot of judgement going on. I tried to find an appropriate topic before stating a new one... Read More

  1. by   tragicallyhip
    Hi! I applaud you asking these questions.

    I have countless seniors who had severe diabetic neuropathy and finally have a solution. Many find the drops under the tongue very helpful. They help with sleep and consequently are able to better manage pain. Our Canadian Nurses Association is working hard to de-stigmatize Cannabis for the purpose of supporting patients with cancer, fibromyalgia, diabetes, autoimmune inflammation, etc who find relief from this complex plant with over 140 compounds and counting. I will add links to this post from their webinar.

    I will also add a link from the Academy of Medicine and Science with a free comprehensive PDF book on all the data and studies done so far on Cannabis. There are RNs working in dispensaries whose focus is medicinal use. Other dispensaries are tailored for recreational use, much like liquor stores.

    RN roles thus far, are not prescribing but looking at patients profiles. For example. patient A comes in with list of medications and conditions, any interacting medications or conditions such as psychiatric (bipolar etc) are automatically flagged and the patient must get a letter from their specialist or doctor before obtaining Cannabis. This is much less interaction with a patient than happens at safe injection sites here in Canada. The nurse does not recommend, counsel, or give any advice on cannabis.

    Canadian NPs may be able to start prescribing it when legislation is passed.

    I would also recommend looking at the TED talk from Portugal and what they have done to reduce addiction and use dramatically in their country. They have one of the highest success rates in the world when it comes to addiction.

    What I find is that there is a lot of moral judgement and nurses are supposed to be critical thinkers that put one's one morals/beliefs aside and think as evidenced based practitioners. So far I have seen emotional responses to this topic rather than informed and critical thinking based. (Cannabis: the evidence)

    If patients sense judgement they will not reveal anything to nurses and this does nothing to reduce harm. I used to be in the "judgment group" and I have completely with education and research turned my views 180 degrees. I will include a number of links that may be of help. Some reference Safe Injection site documents which may help understand harm reduction. Although, of note, obviously Cannabis is not an opiate but I think it is worth considering since it is still under schedule 1.

    Canadian Nurses Association on Cannabis: Cannabis in Canada: Implications for nursing in a changing legal and health-care landscape - YouTube

    National Academy of Science and Medicine, see pdf link for free: Front Matter | The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research | The National Academies Press
    National Academy of Science and Medicine home page:
    Health Care Professionals |

    A collection of nurses who work with patients and cannabis. Green Health Consultants | Medical Cannabis Treatment Plans
    Harm reduction:
    Harm reduction:
    Harm reduction:

    Canadian Federal Laws: Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations
    Google Scholar: nurses/gps and cannabis: https://substanceabusepolicy.biomedc...1747-597X-7-31
    Nursing Attitudes and patients:

    Okay, I hope this helps others. I have read some of the negative comments that were not constructive and showed moral and emotional based judgement rather than examining it with an eye for evidence based decisions. We are a profession that must look at things from a scientific, ethical, holistic based mind. We must look at what other countries have found successful. So far, North America has failed in their war on drugs.

    Another author who has written extensively on addictions is Dr. Gabor Mate. He has many videos online as well has his books. He has worked for years in the Vancouver downtown core with those who struggle with substance use. At the core of the problem is trauma and psychiatric illnesses.
    See Ted talks:

    A counter argument to Johann Harris talk but...with a response from the author at the bottom who clarifies:
    Thank you for asking these questions.
  2. by   tragicallyhip
    Thank you! Nurses have to consider their role in stigmatization:
    "Nursing is as much, if not more, responsible for perpetuating the stigmas and misperceptions that illogically limit the use of marijuana in treating patients and keeping marijuana relegated to the "CAM" category, even though there is a wealth of evidence that says it's earned it's way out of being considered a CAM treatment."
  3. by   Muser69
    I am proud to say after being an RN and working in critical care for 46 years that I have retired.

    I will now start my second career working as a wellness advisor in a cannabis dispensary
    First job I have EVER looked forward to going to !
  4. by   JulsGirlBoss
    Muser69, Did the dispensary actually have the position available for an RN? That's what I'm looking for but not finding.

Must Read Topics