Canna Nurses Speak Out
American Cannabis Nurses Association Supports New Cannabis Schedule
For immediate release
September 12, 2017 – Wheat Ridge, CO – A survey of nurses conducted by the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), has led to a call for Congress to amend the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and create a new schedule specific and restricted to cannabis and its many uses. The CSA currently has only five drug schedules and cannabis is in the most severely restricted category, Schedule I. “Congress created the drug schedules nearly half a century ago and it is past time for review and amendment, especially in light of the modern research on cannabis,” said Eileen Konieczny, president of ACNA. “We are proposing a new schedule, Schedule VI, which would be specific to cannabis. There are many nations that have more than five schedules for drug control and it is time for the U.S. to enter the 21st Century with respect to the classification of cannabis.”
When surveyed, ACNA’s membership overwhelmingly supported re-scheduling with the majority supporting creation of a new schedule. ACNA has released a Resolution that “calls on the United States Congress to increase the health, safety and well-being of our citizens by establishing a new cannabis-only schedule – Schedule VI – in the Controlled Substances Act that will accommodate all cannabis products.”
“Nurses are, by tradition, the caregivers in the health care system. Our members have seen first-hand the harm that has been perpetuated by the Schedule I classification,” Konieczny said. “Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have established state programs of medical access yet the federal government continues to impede access and research. That is criminal.” ACNA is the only professional nursing association dedicated to advancing the knowledge and use of medical cannabis in the United States. Currently the group has over 600 members, many of whom are actively treating patients with cannabis in states that allow it. This has led the group to create a Scope of Practice and Standards for Cannabis Nurses which was recently approved by the group’s Board of Directors.
Carey S. Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, authored the Standards and Scope of Cannabis Nursing Practice which was unanimously approved by the ACNA Board of Directors. Dr. Clark is an associate professor at the University of Maine and president-elect of ACNA.
“The need for this type of document was overwhelming and I am very proud of ACNA for taking the lead in this area of public health,” Clark said. “Discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) two decades ago has changed how we look at cannabis and has created the need for nurse specialists who understand the intricacies of this fascinating physiological system. The science is maturing so quickly and I am certain the Standards and Scope of Cannabis Nursing Practice will continue to mature with it.”
About the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) – ACNA, founded in 2006, is a nonprofit organization formed as a nursing organization that represented the emerging field of endocannabinoid therapeutics to professional nurses, providing scientific, patient, and educational opportunities to assist nurses in understanding and advocating for their patients' needs. For further information about ACNA please visit the website at www.cannabisnurses.org.