Republican State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12) Receives 2019 Change Makers Award

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On April 20, 2019, the NCF Policy Change Makers Award was presented to Republican State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12). The award was accepted on behalf of Senator Dunnavant at the 2019 National Cannabis Policy Summit by Jenn Michelle Pedini of Virginia NORML:

I never expected to be receiving awards for work we did several years ago around access to medical cannabis. Each time I consider how to solve a problem whether it arises in my own home or impacts the diverse lies of our state, I weigh the potential risk against the desired benefits. You and I each make these calculations in our daily lives. It is what voters expect of their elected representatives when deciding public issues. This is one of those issues and I am proud to have been the champion. -Virginia State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12)

The only physician in the Virginia Senate, Senator Siobhan Dunnavant has successfully championed landmark medical cannabis legislation for two consecutive General Assembly sessions. In 2018, her Let Doctors Decide bill expanded access to all Virginia patients by removing the qualifying condition requirement and simply allowing physicians to make recommendations. This year, Senator Dunnavant’s legislation brings full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis formulations in a variety of preparations to the Commonwealth, while also allowing nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to issue recommendations.

Every year, the National Cannabis Festival advocacy committee nominates policymakers on the state or federal level who have advocated for ending cannabis prohibition in the interest of fiscal policy, personal liberty, medical alternatives and/or equal justice.  Once the nomination list is complete, the winner is put to a public vote. Previous Winners Include: Delaware State Senator Margaret Rose Henry (D), Virginia Congressman Thomas Garrett (R), and Delaware Representative Helene M. Keeley (D).

Caroline Phillips