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Dr. Jacci Bainbridge smiles in her professional headshot.

A Pharmacist is the Expert on Cannabis at the United Nations

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In 2019, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs met with the prime responsibility for policy making on drug-related matters. Their declaration for the meeting? “Strengthening our actions at the national, regional and international levels to accelerate the implementation of our joint commitments to address and counter the world drug problem.”

Dr. Jacci Bainbridge standing next to a United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs banner.

 

Dr. Jacci Bainbridge at the United Nations to testify on her extensive work with cannabis. 

The 2019 meeting set a 2024 benchmark for a mid-term review, to take place in Vienna. This year, they had a very special guest: Jacci Bainbridge, PharmD. This is the second consecutive year that Dr. Bainbridge has been invited to testify at the U.N.

“I was invited to speak because of my participation in cannabis education and clinical trials with cannabis,” she said.

Bainbridge is a professor in the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Department of Clinical Pharmacy and serves as a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion in the Neurology Clinic, which is part of the Neurology Residency Teaching Program at the University of Colorado Denver. Her patients include people with neurologic diseases, including Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, migraines, and Willis-Ekbom Disease (formally known as Restless Legs Syndrome). As part of her research, Bainbridge has conducted several cannabis trials and sees patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

“I spoke (at the U.N.) about how we talk to and interview patients in the neurology clinics,” she explained. “So potential drug interactions, specifically cannabis, should not be a commodity. It is not an innocent bystander.”

Bainbridge credits the work of fellow CU Pharmacy professor Robert Page, PharmD, for spreading the word on being cautious about cannabis, and while she sees its benefits, she also agrees on a cautious approach.

"It should be regulated,” she said, “because it can be harmful.”

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs considers the world drug problem from a broad and comprehensive perspective and has until 2029 to review progress in implementing international drug policies.

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