Today there are many new forms of dosing and ingestion that make cannabis an easy and safe option for the treatment of pain, anxiety, sleep disorders and PTSD to name a few.

Medicinal Marijuana: By The Numbers (Ottawa Citizen)

blog-pic-275x193As printed in the Ottawa Citizen on February 7, 2014. Read the original article here.
– By Hugh Adami

OTTAWA — Fewer than seven per cent of Ontario’s 28,000 practising doctors are signing declarations that enable patients to acquire medical marijuana through a Health Canada program.

As of Nov. 20, 2013, Health Canada statistics show there were 2,418 Ontario physicians “supporting active authorizations to possess marijuana for medical purposes.”

The numbers support the notion that many doctors are not comfortable being involved with the federal government’s cannabis health program. It was introduced by Health Canada in 2001.

The situation has spurred some entrepreneurship in various cities across Canada. Robert Callaghan recently set up Medical Marijuana Services in Ottawa. He says there is a need to help people who can’t find a doctor to sign the paperwork. Clients are first screened to make sure they have legitimate needs, and, if they do, meet with a Toronto psychiatrist, Dr. Henry Moller, who happens to be Callaghan’s friend.

Callaghan charges as much as $600 and pays the doctor a per diem.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is reviewing its medical marijuana policy and is seeking input for changes from health professionals and the public. The current policy doesn’t handcuff doctors from signing authorizations, but it comes with warnings and advice. Doctors are told they are not obligated to sign documents for patients seeking medicinal marijuana, but, if they do, “are advised to proceed with caution.” The policy suggests prescribing pharmaceutical cannabis pills as an alternative.

The college’s position is that adequate studies proving marijuana as a legitimate medicine have yet to be done. It is also concerned about adverse effects of the drug.

The policy review comes as Health Canada prepares to bring in new rules for the production and distribution of medicinal marijuana on April 1. The new rules could deter doctors even more as they would seem to put more pressure on them to control access on a drug that many know very little about.

Under the existing rules, doctors sign an authorization form that requires Health Canada’s approval. If approved, the user can purchase the drug through Health Canada, be allowed to grow the marijuana, or appoint a designated grower.

Under the new rules, Health Canada’s role with the user is clearly diminished. The doctor would no longer be signing a declaration for Health Canada to approve. Rather, he would be proving the patient with what essentially would be a prescription that would be sent to a marijuana grow op, licensed by Health Canada. One has so far approved been approved locally for Smiths Falls.

The following are Health Canada statistics regarding medicinal marijuana users:


2,418: Physicians supporting ‘active authorizations’ to possess medical marijuana (as of Nov. 20, 2013)

11,071: People approved to possess medical marijuana in Ontario (as of Dec. 31, 2013)

6,406: People with a “personal use” licence to grow it (as of Dec. 31, 2013)


37,359: People approved to possess medical marijuana in Ontario

25,436: People with a “personal use” licence to grow it.


Most people approved to posses: British Columbia, 18,383

Most ‘personal use production’ licences: British Columbia, 13,734

—Source: Health Canada

As printed in the Ottawa Citizen on February 7, 2014. Read the original article here.

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