Canada’s last operational stress injury clinic withdraws medical marijuana prescriptions

September 07, 2017

Based on a new report, the last Veterans Affairs-sanctioned clinic stopped prescribing cannabis in January, due to the lack of research and concerns. The concerns states that medical marijuana might causing more bad effect than good.

In November 2016, veterans affairs minister Kent Hehr scaled back the limit for reimbursement from 10 grams of medical marijuana per day to 3 grams, looking at the increase in its supply. However, veterans were permitted to charge the amount they were then charging till May 21, 2017. Hehr also added, that there will be an exception for psychiatrist, pain specialist, oncologist or other health specialist in "exceptional situations” and would have to submit an application explaining the basis for a larger quantity.

The department had also set a dollar limit of $8.50 per gram that licensed producers should be charging, based on the "fair market value”.

Even with the strict supply and price limitation of medical marijuana, veterans with mental illnesses will have one less place to turn to get a psychiatrist's approval, as the OSI clinics stopped prescribing cannabis based on the new announcement.

Dr. Anthony Njoku of the OSI clinic in Fredericton stated that the Veterans Affairs, along with the Canadian Forces, will be undertaking a clinical experiment to assess the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating PTSD and ensure the effectiveness of these medicines.  As the research and evidence which they have now is insufficient.

Adding to the statement he said, "Overall, we really even now don't have that much research work that has been done to determine either the dosing, to determine the efficacy, to determine which kind of clients would best benefit from this."

A veteran Fabian Henry, who served in the Canadian Forces for 12 years in an opposing statement said, "It's not fair, it's just not fair that we don't have a place to go, those who choose medicinal marijuana, I have to look for outside help, other than the operational stress injury clinic." 

Henry was medically released after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2012 and is now the founder of Marijuana for Trauma (company with 15 locations to help veterans’ access medical marijuana across the country). He also has confirmed that he was relieved of PTSD symptoms with the use of medical marijuana.

He added that the clinic in Fredericton does not prescribe or approve special requests of veterans for amounts outside the limit of dried cannabis per day hence; it becomes highly impossible for him to get the seven grams of marijuana he requires to cope with his symptoms.

He added, "When they cut my medicine back, I started to fear for my health, those around me, my community, because before all of this I was not a good person.... I didn't want to go down that road again.

This news report also confirms that, the department reimbursed 5,190 veterans for medical cannabis between April 1 and July 31, 2017. As of Aug. 29, the department had received 637 requests for reimbursement of more than three grams per day since November 2016.

So, we will have to wait until the authorities have a research and come back with the evidence which shapes the effects of this magical medicine.

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