Trio of Symposium speakers focus on the federal obstructions of medicinal marijuana | VailDaily.com

Trio of Symposium speakers focus on the federal obstructions of medicinal marijuana

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VAIL — Despite several states blazing a trail for marijuana legalization, commercial consumption and tax revenue generation, marijuana is still federally recognized as an illegal drug. It is that national status that poses huge difficulty in exploring the drug's medical application, which experts imagine could be vast.

Three experts will convene in a Vail Symposium program on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail to discuss progress the state has made in advancing medical applications of marijuana, the national standing of the marijuana legalization movement and how the two arenas interact.

As Colorado has led the nation with unprecedented marijuana policy for personal use, the state is also leading historic medical research initiatives that include cannabis. However, marijuana's federal status severely limits how this research can be done.

"This is a very polarizing issue," said Kris Sabel, Vail Symposium executive director. "Obviously Colorado has made its intention clear on where and what the state wants to do with marijuana, but a lot of this is limited by marijuana's legal standing on a federal level. Our panel is very strong and will be able to approach the issue with education and experience."

Meet the Panelists

Back by popular demand is Sanho Tree, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and the director of its Drug Policy Project, which works to end the domestic and international War on Drugs and replace it with policies that promote public health. Tree will discuss the limitations on states such as Colorado caused by the federal government.

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Nolan Kane is the head of the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative at the University of Colorado. He will share with the audience the current research under way to improve medical cannabis use, including 10 cannabis compounds thought to possess significant medical application.

Dr. Larry Wolk will discuss how the state of Colorado looks at medical marijuana, what it has done to encourage research for medical marijuana and what its limitations have been. He will discuss the status of various studies on medical marijuana, as well as how legalization has impacted medical-marijuana policy and overall utilization. He will also give brief perspective on the myriad of issues related to medical and legalized marijuana use, including public education, health surveillance monitoring and laboratory testing for quality control.

If you go …

What: “Legal but Limited: Marijuana’s Long Road to Medical Application,” with Sanho Tree, Larry Wolk and Nolan Kane.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 27; 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program.

Where: Donovan Pavilion, 1600 South Frontage Road W., Vail.

Cost: $25 online general admission, $35 at the door, $10 students and teachers.

More information: Visit http://www.VailSymposium.org to register.

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