Amy Listermann MS CCCSLP Wisconsin 0

Support Open Access to Clinical Cannabis Research

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The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) - national governing body for speech-language pathologists and audiologists - has failed to address patient and clinician interests through a lack of advocacy for evidence-based review of cannabis in medical treatments. Given the profession’s scope of practice, ASHA should ethically seek harm reduction by aligning with the Americans for Safe Access group as a proponent for the access to functional cannabis research.

  • Therapeutic cannabis options are already widely available, due to increasing numbers of states legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use.
  • Our society needs to heal from the trauma of an ineffective War on Drugs.
  • Due to a lack of access to the various compositions of the cannabis chemicals, meaningful insights about responsible use and effective harm reduction with the cannabis being used by patients are not gathered from past FDA-approved studies.

Supporting evidence and reference list available here.

The international evidence of cannabis’ impact on body functions are within ASHA’s scope of practice. Speech-language pathologists have unique educational and clinical expertise related to:

  • Counseling safer modes of administration (ingestion, topical, inhalation methods) for voice and breathing hygiene.
  • Exploring short and long-term impacts on fluency, word finding.
  • Extensive study of neurology in motion - memory, executive function, attention, problem solving - giving perspective to discuss psychoactive risk within the context of symptom relief in social, mental (fear of death/illness progression and loss of independence counseling) and physical suffering (pain, coordination, nutrition) among the interdisciplinary care team.

Support of this petition is not equal to advocating for cannabis use, but seeking access to evidence, to help inform potential or established users. The evidence is the only tool by which we can understand how to promote well-being for our patients.

Supporting evidence and reference list available here.

Americans for Safe Access website

American Speech-language and Hearing Association website

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