AHP’s Linda Frazier Serves as Lead Author of APHA Policy Statement and ATOD Policy Brief on Regulating Cannabis

AHP’s Director of Addictions Initiatives, Linda Frazier, M.A, RN, MCHES, is a lead author of two new groundbreaking cannabis public health policy documents by the American Public Health Association (APHA) and its Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Section (ATOD). Ms. Frazier is past chair of ATOD and has served in Section leadership roles since 2009. 

The first is a policy statement released in October 2020 titled A Public Health Approach to Regulating Commercially Legalized Cannabis. It calls for evidence-based strategies to better protect public health and safety in emerging legal cannabis markets.  

The second document, released in January 2021, is an ATOD brief calling for a set of policy-related actions from the original October statement. The policy brief is not meant to drive clinical decisions related to cannabis use, but rather to encourage a public health approach to policy and policy implementation when cannabis legalization occurs in states and local jurisdictions. The brief outlines action steps in four key areas: 

  1. Protecting children, youth, and other vulnerable populations  

  1. Minimizing harm to the public  

  1. Prioritizing equity, social justice, and ameliorating harms caused to populations disproportionately impacted by prior drug policy approaches  

  1. Monitoring patterns of cannabis use and related public health and safety outcomes 

Both documents are timely in the arena of public health, as more states continue to move forward in legalizing cannabis for medical and adult use. 

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