In light of the pending legalization of cannabis, NANB wanted to start a dialogue with members about nursing practice and cannabis use. In May, NANB hosted a three-week Virtual Forum titled Planting the Information Seed: Nursing Practice and Cannabis use. During that time, there were a number of thought producing posts on how RNs think cannabis legalization will impact their practice and their role as nurses caring for clients
Canadian Nurses Association’s Program lead, Public Policy Karey Shuhendler RN closed the forum. Karey captures some of our questions such as: What does this mean for my patients? Will this lead to problematic substance use? If we know cannabis is harmful for the developing brain, how can I help youth in my community to reduce the risk? How can my workplace ensure nurses are not impaired by cannabis at work? This brings us back to thinking about the available evidence and arming ourselves with accurate information about the risks and harms of cannabis use that will allow us to provide safe, competent and ethical care.
The full summary can be found in the Fall 2018 Edition of Info Nursing
Thank you for participating!
On April 20, 2016, the federal government announced plans to legalize cannabis for non-medical purposes, effective summer of 2018. Since that initial announcement, work has been under way by a wide range of stakeholders to prepare for this historic shift. In their 2017 discussion paper Harm Reduction for Non-Medical Cannabis Use, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) notes that “legalization is often seen as the best option for addressing the harms of cannabis. It allows for the regulation of quality, dose and potency. Legalization can also minimize social harms and eliminate the costs of prohibition.”
As the largest group of health care providers, and often a person’s first point of contact with the health care system, nurses are uniquely positioned to engage with patients and clients to reduce harms of non-medical cannabis use, and to support those who use cannabis for medical purposes.
The goal of this virtual forum is to provide a platform for discussion about how legalization of cannabis may impact your nursing practice.
The following questions may provide a starting place for dialogue:
Program Lead, Public Policy Programs & Policy Canadian Nurses Association