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MS Society sets medical marijuana symposium

Can medical marijuana help those with multiple sclerosis?

That question will be addressed at a Medical Marijuana Education Symposium/Forum organized by the MS Society of Portland Oregon from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, at the Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Avenue, Portland.

According to the event announcement, "From Dr. Sanjay Gupta to Oregon's new law allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries, there is a growing recognition that marijuana can help sufferers of neurological diseases."

The event will include experts who will explain how Oregon's new law works and how participants can investigate if marijuana will help their condition.

"We can't ignore the science. We can't ignore the thousands of individuals who say they get relief from medical marijuana for their condition. Our mission is to help people manage their disease and live full lives. We want them to know that if marijuana helps, we'll be there to inform them about the legalities and safety of using it," said Candyce Hayes, executive director of the MSSP.

Scheduled to speak are a physician who has studied the effects of medical marijuana, attorneys who will help patients navigate getting their card and using Oregon's new dispensary system, people who helped write and pass both the original medical marijuana law and the new dispensary law, and industry representatives who will discuss how the medicine can be delivered most effectively.

Speakers include: Jason Wasserman, UDoxi Scientific - Liquid Amber; Jesse Peters, Eco Firma Farms; Ken Welker MD, Oregon Optimal Health; Geoff Sugerman, New Economy Consulting; Amy Margolis, Criminal Defense Attorney; Marcus Reed, Cannabis Industry Attorney; and Brian Malicke, Alternative Remedies Dispensary.

"Our speakers will help attendees understand the law around marijuana in Oregon, how they can access it under Oregon's new law and information on ways they can safely get the relief marijuana offers to patients," said Art Richards, president of the MSSP. "The goal of our symposium is to help all patients find a better quality of life through the legal and safe use of medical marijuana."

Sponsors of the event include the Cosgrove Vergeer Kester law firm, OG Analytical, Udoxi Science Liquid Amber, Eco Firma Farms, Oregon Optimal Health, New Economy Consulting, Roseland Theater, OMMC Clinic LLC and Stag Vapor.

"Our goal is to help educate individuals. We know many of them are taking marijuana as medicine and we want to make sure it's done in full compliance with Oregon's new law," said Hayes. "This is a forum to give individuals information on how they may be helped by medical marijuana. We're not trying to change the world nor are we endorsing the use of medical marijuana. We're just trying to make life a little better."

MS is a disease of the central nervous system that primarily strikes young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. An estimated 7,500 Oregonians and Southwest Washington residents are living with MS. The Pacific Northwest has one of the highest incident rates. The cause remains unknown and there is no cure.

The MS Society of Portland, Oregon, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit, organization dedicated to helping improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with MS. The MSSP helps with the day-to-day challenges of living with MS.

The event is free but restricted to those 18 and older. For more information, visit www.msoregon.org/events