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"Cannabis and Public Health: New and Persisting Challenges for Policymakers"

Dr. Thomas Marcotte (UCSD) Dr. Matthew Springer (UCSF) Dr. Pamela Ling (UCSF) Dr. Tracy Richmond McKnight, (TRDRP)
Nov 12, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-800)
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* In light of the community concerns regarding COVID-19, this talk will be  given as a webinar. *

Co-Sponsored by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)

Cannabis legalization in California has raised a number of important policy questions.  In this panel presentation moderated by TRDRP Director Tracy Richmond McKnight, UC experts will address cannabis policy from three perspectives.  First, Matthew Springer (UCSF) will provide an update on the science of second-hand marijuana smoke, the likely health effects, and how policymakers might respond.  Then Thomas Marcotte, a cognitive psychologist at UCSD, will discuss what is known about the effects of cannabis on driving impairment, including how new ways of detecting and quantifying impairment may be able to keep our streets and highways safer.  Finally, Pamela Ling (UCSF), will draw on her long career researching tobacco use among young adults to describe the co-mingling of cannabis and tobacco issues and the resulting impact on both tobacco and cannabis regulation.  Following brief presentations by the three speakers, Dr. McKnight will lead a discussion of intersecting topics, followed by an open question and answer session with the audience.

Dr. Matthew L. Springer received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1992.  He did postdoctoral research at Stanford and Springer Photocontinued his research there as a senior scientist until joining the UCSF faculty in 2003, where he is currently one of two non-clinicians on the faculty of the Division of Cardiology.  His research interests include cell and gene therapy for cardiovascular diseases, and how vascular function is impaired by secondhand smoke from tobacco and marijuana.  He is a member of UCSF’s FDA/CTP Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science and the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, and is on the Associate Editorial Board for the journal Tobacco Regulatory Science.    

Dr. Thomas Marcotte is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and Co-Director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UC San Diego (, which hasMarcotte Photo conducted clinical trials of cannabis for almost 20 years, and has an active, ongoing portfolio exploring the effects of cannabinoids (plant-based, synthetic) in various medical/psychiatric conditions. He is the principal investigator (PI) on studies of the effects of acute cannabis use, and cannabis and alcohol use, on driving performance, as well as a study addressing cannabis for the treatment of pain. He was previously a co-investigator on cannabis studies examining pain, and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. He also served on the editorial boards of Neuropsychology and the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Dr. Pamela Ling is a general internist and Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, where she conducts research on tobacco, media, and social marketing. Her work Ling Photoincludes analyses of thousands of previously secret tobacco industry documents detailing marketing strategies and translating lessons learned to improve tobacco control efforts. Dr. Ling has special interest in young adult tobacco use, counter-engineering tobacco industry marketing, the global proliferation of U.S. tobacco marketing strategies, novel tobacco product marketing including e-cigarettes, and using market research strategies to guide clinical and public health interventions.

Dr. Tracy Richmond McKnight is the Director of the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). TRDRP funds pivotal research into the biomedical, social behavioral, and McKnight Photopolicy implications of commercial tobacco product use. Before coming to TRDRP, Dr. McKnight led a brain imaging research program as an Associate Professor at UCSF and later joined Valerion Therapeutics as Director of Translational Research. She also founded TRM Research and Consulting to support her passion for increasing diversity in the STEM fields. Dr McKnight holds BS (Spelman College) and MS (NYU-Polytechnic) degrees in physics and a PhD (UC Davis) in biomedical engineering.

In light of the community concerns regarding COVID-19, this talk will be  given as a webinar. The link will be provided on November 11th to those that have registered by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 9th.


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Please click here to view the video.

Please click here to view Dr. Springer's PowerPoint presentation.

Please click here to view Dr. Marcotte's PowerPoint presentation.

Please click here to view Dr. Ling's PowerPoint presentation.




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