Now that marijuana is due to be legalized in Canada in October, the need for a prescription system for medical marijuana becomes a little less necessary. If you can get cannabis on your own, why bother the doctor about it? This issue has been debated recently as the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is hoping the current system for using medical marijuana will be eliminated after legalization.
According to Dr. Jeff Blackmer, VP of medical professionalism at CMA, doctors are not trained or experienced enough with cannabis as a medical option.
[editor’s note: perhaps that means doctors need to be better trained, rather than leaving the public to do their own medical research on their own?]
In response to the CMA concerns, Health Canada has decided to leave the current medical marijuana system in place but will review whether it continues to be necessary or practical in 5 years. They released the following statement:
“Health Canada recognizes the concerns of the Canadian Medical Association regarding the level of evidence on the risks and benefits of cannabis for medical purposes, as well as on dosage and potential interactions with other medications,”
“Measures under the Cannabis Act aim to facilitate research with the goal of improving our knowledge of the risks and benefits of cannabis.”
“The aim of these provisions is to facilitate research and development by streamlining the process and requirements for cannabis-based research,”
“This additional flexibility will support pre-clinical and clinical research on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for medical purposes. Such research could lead to new drug submissions of cannabis-based products for market authorization as drugs.”
The CMA is hopeful that more research into medical marijuana is forthcoming. In their response, they stated:
“We will continue to urge the government to invest resources and funding in independent research to assess the impact of cannabis in health and health care,” it read.
“As more scientific evidence becomes available, we will work with Health Canada and other governmental agencies as well as stakeholders in the medical profession to better understand how this might fit into current medical practice. In the meantime, physicians will continue to work with their patients directly to provide the best care possible.”
Most cannabis advocates are pleased that the current medical system will continue. James MacKillop, from the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, says that cannabis is now part of our medical landscape and you can’t simply ignore that. The Canadian Nurses Association is also supporting the continuation of the program.
Source: CBC News
Canadian Guide to Medical Marijuana is for information and research only, and should not be considered professional medical or legal advice.