Maimonides brunch to explore the possibilities of medical cannabis

By Stephanie Bolmer
HAKOL Editor

If when you think of cannabis you think of “Reefer Madness,” Dr. Bruce Nicholson has a message for you—it’s not about that. Join him at the Maimonides brunch on Jan. 6 for his talk: “Medical Cannabis: Weeding Out Fact from Fiction” to learn the truth about this misunderstood drug.

“It really is truly separating fact from fiction or myth,” said Nicholson of his talk, which aims to leave the audience “understanding the potential benefits but also limitations” of medical cannabis. Nicholson is an anesthesiologist with a subspecialty in pain medicine who actually helped craft the legislation that brought legalized medical cannabis to Pennsylvania. And he understands the skepticism that exists about this new treatment.

“If this were five years ago, I would’ve taken the position that there was no place in medicine for medical cannabis,” he said. But, then he did the research which led him to support it. 

“This really needs to be part of what we do, and we need to understand it better,” said Nicholson. One of the major breakthroughs of medical cannabis is in the treatment of chronic pain, which obviously interests Nicholson. 

“We’re certifying 10 people a week [for use of medical cannabis to treat their pain],” said Nicholson, “and most of them are in their 70s or 80s.” Nicholson will explain the previously unexplored endocannabinoid system of the human body, which makes the use of this promising medicine possible.

The Maimonides Society Brunch will take place on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 10:15 a.m. at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley. It is free for Maimonides members, $10 for community. RSVP to the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or