Science behind medical marijuana at psychopharmacology conference on O`ahu

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Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

A leading researcher on the science of medical marijuana will speak as part of a conference at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel, Waikiki on O`ahu February 3-5. Although the conference is targeted toward health care providers, the public is welcome to register.

Dr. Kevin Hill, author of “The Unbiased Truth About The World’s Most Popular Weed,” will discuss recent statistics, why marijuana is complicated and marijuana myths and the science behind them. Dr. Hill is the director of the Substance Abuse Consultation Service at McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He also is on faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The presentation is part of the 2016 Psychopharmacology Conference presented jointly by the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP), the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and the American Association of Professional Nurses (AAPN). The main topics for the three-day seminar are depression, substance abuse disorders and medical marijuana.

“As the State Department of Health in Hawaiʻi begins considering applications for medical marijuana dispensaries, we’re fortunate to access a leading national clinical and research expert on a topic that’s certainly not new to Hawaiʻi,” said Karen Pellegrin, DKICP director of continuing education and strategic planning. “Many people, professionals and lay people alike are looking for answers in order to understand the science behind its use. Dr. Hill is well qualified to provide some substance to the conversation.”

Additional speakers include:

• Dr. Brett Lu, attending physician of treatment-resistant and geriatric psychiatry consult clinics, Queen’s Medical Center, and associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, UH Manoa. Dr. Lu will talk about pharmacogenomics, new procedures for depression treatment and provide a general workup for difficult-to-treat depression.

• Dr. Karen A. Miotto, director of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Addiction Psychiatry Service, and associate professor, UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Miotto will give an update on alcohol pharmacotherapy and discuss challenges in treating prescription medication-use disorders.

Cost to attend is $200 per day, or $500 for all days, with a 20 percent discount for kama`aina. The event is eligible for APA CE, ACPE, and CME credit.

To register, call (808) 933-2914 or visit

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