Norton Arbeláez, JD

Norton Arbeláez, JD

Regulatory Approaches to Plant Medicines; Legal Cannabis Saving Lives.

Norton Arbeláez is a lawyer who holds a seat on the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, the City of Denver’s Medical Marijuana Workgroup, and Governor Hickenlooper’s Amendment 64 regulatory task force. This involvement has permitted Norton to be directly engaged in the development and drafting of Colorado’s regulatory framework and to participate in policy discussions with members of the public and private sector to promote a responsible and judicious approach to cannabis regulation. He is an owner at RiverRock in Colorado. RiverRock actively contributes to the ongoing development of Colorado’s medical cannabis legislation. As well as serving patients and recreational customers with high-quality organic cannabis products, RiverRock is strongly focused on patient education and holistic, individualized cannabis therapies that target each individual patient’s specific needs.

In 2010 Norton founded Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Industry Group. This non-profit lobbying and policy group promotes responsible cannabis regulatory frameworks, serves as a resource and partner for policy makers and protects the rights of medical marijuana patients. He currently serves on the group’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Arbeláez is a first-generation born in the United States of Columbian descent whose family instilled early on the value of education and the importance of community involvement. At the University of Oklahoma he received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in International Studies Summa Cum Laude. He earned a fellowship with the Carl Albert Congressional Research & Studies Center, where he organized and managed minority voting initiates and conducted a study on the role of women in Latin American political institutions. He also interned with the Organization of American States where he compiled a database of human rights abuses as reported to the International Council of Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Mr. Arbeláez is a multilinguist, fluent in Spanish and French, and also speaks Portuguese and German.

Presentation Abstracts:

New Regulatory Approaches to Plant Medicine

It has been forty five years since President Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs and despite billions of dollars spent, tens of thousands of direct and indirect human casualties, and hundred of thousands of Americans incarcerated for non-violent crimes, the illegal drug business has never been more profitable or more bloody. This uninformed and radical approach to drug policy has, until recently, relegated whole plant medicine to the margins of scientific and social acceptability. Thankfully, new regulatory approaches to plant medicine are beginning to provide opportunities to practitioners, patients, and researchers to reclaim natural medicines that have been in the human pharmacopeia for millennia. This talk will focus upon recent changes in legislation and research protocols that have allowed for regulated access to cannabinoid, psilocybin, and MDMA therapies.

Legal Cannabis Saving Lives

To date, twenty-four states and the District of Columbia allow for the medical use of cannabis. Indeed, recent years have seen a renaissance in physician recommended cannabis treatments and their utility to treat conditions like epilepsy, cancer, PTSD, and neuropathic pain. Both the scientific literature and popular media have highlighted exceptional patient outcomes as a result of cannabis-based treatments. Additionally, though the field of cannabinoid medicine is in its infancy, some of its potential is already subject to patent protection including the federal government’s patent for cannabinoids in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. This talk will highlight real life cases of individuals whose health outcomes have been radically improved by medical cannabis use and frame the issue in its political and legal context. Video presentations of patients and their families will accompany the presentation.