There are a number of ways in which the communities most affected by the war on drugs and cannabis prohibition urgently need to be protected and restored. This should be of paramount importance to cannabis activists and experts (among others).

While cannabis prohibition has played a role in systemic racism and social injustice for these communities in many ways, one of those ways is that they have been severely underserved in terms of health care. There has never been a clear path for ensuring that cannabis medicine (and the cannabis economy) meets the health needs of these communities and society as a whole, nor has there been a clear path for educating and promoting professional development and economic opportunity for cannabis health professionals….. – Until now.

Association for Cannabis Health and Medicine (ACHEM)

Join the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM), a new non-profit medical association for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) health care providers and healers.

The Association for Health Equity and Cannabis Medicine (ACHEM) is a response to misguided cannabis reforms and regulation to offset the direct and disproportionate impact of cannabis discrimination on the well-being of communities of color. At ACHEM, we see the opportunity to leverage the evidence-based agricultural, industrial, medical and food applications of cannabis to address many of the health and socio-environmental problems BIPOC communities face as a direct result of decades of disinvestment and abuse under prohibition laws. ACHEM was founded to cultivate and support BIPOC health leaders to promote cannabis reform, integrate cannabis use into medicine, and ensure that legalization promotes holistic healing in communities most affected by the war on drugs.

– Dr. Rachel Knox, M.B.A., chair of the AHIM Board of Directors.

Saturday the 27th. February 2021, AHIM (I-Kem) kicked off with a virtual open house and opening party. ACHEM, the first professional association of its kind, pledges to strengthen, uplift and serve communities disproportionately impacted by the country’s draconian drug laws and policies, using cannabic medicine to fill persistent gaps in health and wellness.

The virtual open house and launch party, ACHEM’s first public event, attracted more than 100 participants who came from far and wide to learn more about the association, its mission and the four pillars of the organization: enrichment, promotion, participation and service. The ACHEM board member delivered an engaging and candid speech, giving the audience detailed information about the innovative field of cannabinoid medicine. ACHEM also shared its political platform and vision for rebuilding communities burdened by the weight of an aggressive war on drugs that unfairly targets people of color.

Dr. Obi, Dr. Rachel Knox and Dr. Jessica Knox at the virtual launch of ACHEM.

ACHEM’s message of healing, hope and justice for black, American Indian, Latino and other communities of color through the expanded lens of cannabis resonated with our attendees, said Dr. Rachel Knox, MBA, ACHEM’s board chair. This community is eager to learn more about ACHEM, its vision and approach to cannabis as an herbal medicine and a fundamental solution to health disparities. We welcome this response and look forward to them using ACHEM in all of its pillars to advance their respective practices.

ACHEM is the first and only medical professional association founded by and for professionals of color and students.

With your generous support, we can expand our membership recruitment efforts and launch formal programs in Q1 2021

– AHIM (@achemed_org) December 11, 2020

Dr. Ogadinma Oga Obi MD is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ACHEM. She said: ACHEM is pleased to share its acquired knowledge with interested health professionals. When it comes to reputable and well-studied cannabinoid medicines, here is the information you need to make them the most competent in their respective fields. Cannabis belongs to people, especially communities of color. ACHEM is a well-rounded base of health care providers that will ultimately improve access to health care and health equity for Black, Indigenous and Latino communities most affected by cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs.

AHIM brought together health professionals and students from Black, Indigenous, and Latino (BIL) communities interested in advocating for health equity in the growing cannabis industry. The Association will provide new and practicing healthcare professionals with educational resources and professional training in cannabinoid medicine and endocannabinoid medicine, an emerging medical field that focuses on the human endocannabinoid system and its role in the body.

Systemic racism and equity in health

Equal opportunity in health care is at the heart of ACHEM’s goals. For too long, systemic racism has perpetuated negative health outcomes and led to higher rates of morbidity and mortality in communities of color. ACHEM seeks to address inequalities by educating and empowering those who will work in the sector and by strengthening the voice of black and brown healthcare professionals.

Cannabis prohibition has devastated BIL communities, and AHIM believes cannabis can be used to repair this damage.

With a justice-oriented, science-based industry, cannabis medicine could be a major force for good, Dr. Knox said. Education, advocacy, regulation and access can help communities recover from years of systemic injustice and provide a tremendous opportunity to move forward. By focusing on BIPOC practitioners, ACHEM empowers people of color to become agents of change in their own communities.

For more information about ACHEM, please visit their website.

About AHIM : ACHEM strives to be a trusted and powerful source of cannabis knowledge that redefines equality in healthcare by combining it with evidence-based research, sharp critical thinking, an ongoing commitment to innovation and new scientific information, and ethical loyalty to passing on our knowledge to the next generation of all healthcare professionals.

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