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Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky 2019 health policy forum to focus on medical marijuana legalization

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 2019 statewide health policy forum will focus on public health considerations associated with legalizing medical marijuana. Former Colorado “marijuana czar” Andrew Freedman will keynote the forum, sharing the impact of legalizing marijuana on a variety of public health measures in that state.

Other speakers will focus on the impact of loosening marijuana restrictions on:

Andrew Freedman, former Colorado Director of Cannabis Coordination (Photo from FHK)

• at-risk populations including children, those with mental health issues and those in the criminal justice system

• accidents, poisonings and crime

• state revenues and outlays

Speakers also will address what kind of provider and public education will be needed if medical marijuana is legalized, as well as how the quality and dosage of medical marijuana products can be controlled, in what form medical marijuana products should be made available, and gaps in research about medical marijuana and its impact, among other topics.

The day-long Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum, underwritten by the Foundation so it can be free and open to the public, is set for September 23 at the Marriott Griffin Gate Lexington.

“Medical marijuana is legal in 34 states and public support is growing in Kentucky for allowing its use to treat various health conditions and symptoms, yet most policymakers have relatively little experience with the topic,” said Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President and CEO Ben Chandler. “This forum is not about changing minds for or against legalizing medical marijuana; it’s about making sure that the practical public health implications are understood and considered in the policy-making process. The bottom-line goal in any policy decision on this topic ought to be protecting and improving public health.”

Freedman served for three years as Colorado’s first Director of Cannabis Coordination, creating the state’s regulatory framework for implementing legalized adult-use and medical marijuana. Among his tasks were protecting public health, maintaining public safety and keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and youth. Co-founder of Freedman & Koski, Freedman is now a consultant for states and the country of Canada as they consider or implement marijuana legalization programs.

The full agenda and list of speakers will be released and registration will open soon.

From Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

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