Pubdate: Sun, 09 Nov 2003
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Duncan News Leader
Author: Jennifer Hourihan
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


A new course at Malaspina University-College's Cowichan campus hopes
to clear through the smoke of Canada's medical marijuana laws.

The one-day course, taught by Duncan's licensed medical marijuana
growers Eric Nash and Wendy Little, is aimed at those suffering from
pain or diseases and trying to find out how to obtain pot legally.

"We get so many e-mails from across Canada, people wanting to know
more about the Health Canada system," Nash said. "People feel
uncomfortable talking to their doctors about this, but they want
access to cannabis as medication. We thought we needed to offer some
way for the public to get more information."

Nash decided to approach Malaspina with the idea of the course, and
was pleased when the college's community education department accepted

"I expected it wouldn't be rejected, because it's a legal Health
Canada program," he said. "There's nothing illegal about this."

Malaspina's Cowichan campus principal Carrie Nelson said the course
"raised a few eyebrows" when it was proposed, but she said medical
marijuana is an important issue Malaspina felt worth discussing.

"Malaspina has a history of looking at issues that are pertinent to
our community that are controversial," she said, pointing out the
school offered information on alternative health care topics such as
acupuncture before it was considered mainstream.

"Medical marijuana is one more choice that people have to deal with
pain," she said. "It is controversial but that shouldn't stop us from
dealing with these issues."

The course will teach people how to go through the application process
to Health Canada, about Canada's medical marijuana access regulations,
as well as how to select which of the more than 500 different strains
of marijuana is the most appropriate to each person's particular needs.

Participants will also learn about the different options they will
have for fulfilling a marijuana prescription, including growing it
themselves, using designated growers, or using Health Canada's supply.

The course will be offering from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 15, for a
cost of $48. Nash says he expects it will likely be offered again in
the future.

"The Health Canada program isn't going to go away, so questions will
continue to come in about it," he said. "There really is a need for
this information."
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