Medical Marijuana

Doctors will convene at an Arapahoe County hotel on Oct. 4 for an all-day seminar on the policy and science of medical marijuana,  hemp and the derivative cannabidiol, or CBD.

The training at the Hillton Denver Inverness near Centennial Airport will provide continuing medical education credits for physicians, according to the Littleton-based non-profit Global Education Group, which puts on such courses for health care professionals.

As many as 180 doctors are expected, and the sessions will be livestreamed, said Joe Bush, Global Education Group's vice president and general manager.

> RELATED: Author, former Colorado journalist links marijuana to mental illness

Bush said the speakers and information won't be biased for or against the drug, but is aimed at providing scientific information to doctors.

The idea for the course began with surveys and discussions with medical associations and doctors who told Global Education Group they don't feel they know enough about the emerging drug.

"They said if you really want to create something in Colorado, nobody understands medical marijuana, period, the medical side or the policy side," Bush said.

Marijuana advocates point to supportive studies, though opponents are often critical of the scope and independence of many of those reports.

Citing medical benefits has been a fast track to pot legalization efforts nationwide, author Alex Berenson said in Colorado in March while he was promoting his book, "Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence.”

Bush said the content of the seminar is controlled by the nonprofit, but he has "four-figure"-level sponsors and exhibitors, including Smart Colorado, a group that has been critical of the state's liberal pot policies, as well as the El Paso County Medical Society and The Answer Page, a website on endocannabinoid system and medical cannabis.

He said he approached about 20 businesses in the marijuana industry, but so far none have signed up to take part in the medical training program.

The speakers won't be representing companies or partisan organizations and the content will be cleared to be fair and science-based, Bush said.

"What I know I have is the highest-quality medical marijuana conference geared only toward the medical community," he said. "I have talked to one physician -- nurse, P.A., chiropractor -- who said this isn't a great idea."

He expects people to take sides over the content, because of the broader polarization over the issue.

"I've been called everything from a pot-smoking liberal who doesn't care about the kids to the other side calling me an FDA Nazi," he said.

The event is called "Controversies in Medicine and Policy Symposium: The State of Evidence for Cannabinoids - Scientific and Regulatory Issues." Registration and other information is available by clicking here.

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