To advance excellence in cannabis nursing practice through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development
Racism - A Call To Action June 4, 2020
The killing of George Floyd on May 25th and the events that have occurred over the last week have once again highlighted America's racial prejudices that affect communities of color, Black communities in particular.
Racial disparities in healthcare have been witnessed for some time with the most recent related to the current COVID pandemic, where black Americans are dying at higher rates, 2.5 times higher than white Americans. These disparities are the results of America's structural racism that affects all parts of the lives of marginalized Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
Nurses have long been viewed as the most ethical of all professions, and we are obligated to support the healing of vulnerable populations, including Black Indigenous People of Color who have faced relentless racial discrimination, police violence, mass incarceration, and fear that leads to negative health impacts and serves to widen health disparities.
Police violence, sadly, must now be considered is a public health risk. Black males have a 1 in 1,000 chance of being killed by police over their lifetime. They are more likely to be stopped by police, less likely to receive a fair trial, and often face harsher sentences compared to whites who commit the same crimes. Once a Black Indigenous Person of Color is institutionalized, suicide rates go up, accounting for 34% of all deaths in American jails, nutritional status is compromised through the high calorie, high-fat foods served in jails, and the risk of physical and sexual assault goes up.
The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) believes that nurses and the nursing profession must focus on addressing systemic racism, police violence, and mass incarceration as public health matters that impact both individuals and the population as a whole. We are, therefore, ethically obligated to address these disparities.
We call for:
The ACNA also acknowledges that cannabis has long been used as a way to discriminate against Black Indigenous People of Color and incarcerate people who are non-violent drug offenders. As cannabis care nurses, we must stand against racism and discrimination, and commit ourselves to ending racially-based healthcare disparities and violence toward Black Indigenous People of Color.
In the last year, ACNA established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to address racism and discrimination to build from within our organization and the cannabis industry at large. Additionally, we are actively working with our Government and Affairs Committee to develop a position statement addressing the war on drugs and how that has unfairly affected nurses, particularly Black Indigenous nurses of color and the communities they serve.
We hope you will join us in our call to action. Our goal at ACNA is to be solution-oriented. The root of racism is not an easy conversation, but it is necessary to examine and reflect on our role in this fight. We are listening and learning.
If you would like to learn more, please consider the resources below:
If you would like to do more, please consider the following:
President, American Cannabis Nurses Association
Nurses and other health care providers need information about medical cannabis. Here are a few of the complex and multi-dimensional issues nurses should consider:
The list goes on and on.
Nurses need a forum to communicate with each other, ask questions and find support and resources. This is the aim of the ACNA website.
As you utilize the resources of this site please consider joining the ACNA, your continued support will allow us to continue to expand this valuable platform for education.
Eloise Theisen, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
ACNA now has swag! Visit our new merchandise online store and get your own ACNA t-shirt, mug, sticker and so much more!
Cannabis education courses have increased dramatically. For a nurse interested in medical cannabis it is important to choose carefully. Not all courses—either live or online—offer accredited continuing education units (CEUs).
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