By N.j. Tapiero, Ottawa Citizen
Re: The burden of no proof, Oct. 2.
Sharon Kirkey’s series reporting on the use of medical cannabis for treatment of chronic pain and the difficulties patients face is especially topical given the current juncture at which medical cannabis now stands in this country.
In my work over a decade at a medical cannabis dispensary, I have heard many stories, similar to Kurt Gengenbach’s, of the obstacles encountered by patients seeking medical cannabis information, access and treatment many times.
Gengenbach’s situation highlights several separate but related issues: the stigma and lack of awareness of the efficacy and applications of medical cannabis undercuts its acceptance as a legitimate medicine and form of treatment; doctors and other care providers are sometimes unable or unwilling to support patients interested in pursuing this treatment option; patients pay out of pocket for their medical cannabis since there is no Drug Identification Number (DIN) and therefore not covered by provincial health care; and access to medical cannabis for many Canadian patients and their caregivers remains very difficult.
Our best opportunity to resolve many of these issues lies in the current review of the federal Medical Marijuana Access Program (MMAP) now underway through Health Canada. The need is great, and the advantages are clear: medical cannabis improves the quality of life for thousands of Canadians with chronic and debilitating illnesses, with benefits extending to their families, care providers and society at large.
Toronto, Director, Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD)
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