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cannabis, legal issues, medical marijuana, nursing education, public policy



  1. Hall, Joanne M. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Shattell, Mona M. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. McConnell, Elizabeth A. MA


Abstract: The United States is trending toward more permissiveness regarding recreational and medicinal marijuana (MJ). Many conditions for which MJ is recommended, prescribed, or self-prescribed are symptoms that advanced practice nurses address daily. Yet, the silence of nursing scientists on ethics, practices, and policies regarding such clinical decisions is deafening. This is but one of many contradictions about MJ use that we discuss in this article. We do not propose to resolve these contradictions; that is left to the community of nurse scientists in interprofessional discourse. Collectively, we must explore these contradictions and, through evidence-based policy recommendations, overcome the silence about how providers view MJ, how it might be helpful, its risks, and cultural shifts that have accompanied a changed political/legal environment. Long term, we must close the gaps in the nursing knowledge base regarding MJ as it affects users and how it is used interventionally.