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Spectrum sensing is an essential functionality of cognitive radio networks. However, the effect of errors in the spectrum sensing process on the performance of the multiple access layer of both primary and secondary networks has not gained much attention. This paper aims at bridging the gap between the study of spectrum sensing and the multiple access of cognitive radio networks. To achieve this goal we pose and answer the question how the spectrum sensing errors affects the performance of cognitive radio networks from a multiple access protocol design point of view. The negative effects of the spectrum sensing errors on the throughput of both primary and secondary networks are characterized through queuing theory analysis of both networks. To alleviate these negative effects a novel joint design of the spectrum sensing and channel access mechanisms is proposed. This design is based on the observation that, in a binary hypothesis testing problem, the value of the test statistics could be used as a confidence measure for the test outcome. Therefore, this value will be used to define different channel access probabilities for secondary users. Results reveal a significant performance improvement in the maximum stable throughput of both primary and secondary networks by virtue of the proposed technique.