Pubdate: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Copyright: 2011 The Edmonton Journal Contact: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor.html Website: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/134 Author: Claude Roberto, PHD., President, Edmonton Nerve Pain Association, Alberta Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n710/a01.html?1239 DON'T JUDGE THOSE IN PAIN Re: Medical marijuana series, The Journal, Dec. 10 to 12, and "Marijuana as medicine a complex issue," Opinion, Dec. 14. Congratulations to Sharon Kirkey and Jodie Sinnema for excellent coverage on medical marijuana. Congratulations to The Journal for the editorial, which did not criminalize patients using medical marijuana, and welcome to the tragic politics of chronic pain in Canada. On one side we have people with bodies crushed by car accidents or destroyed by illness or military devices; they use medical marijuana as a last resource because synthetic marijuana (THC) helps them. On the other side we have: a lack of training in medical schools on how to treat chronic pain; a lack of advancement for Alberta physicians who put their careers at risk if they prescribe medical marijuana; a lack of specialists and a lack of services with waiting lists longer than one year; a lack of health-care professionals in rural areas; a lack of serious research on medical marijuana in Western Canada; a lack of easy access to THC; a lack of protection for people growing private medical marijuana; a lack of interest from governments; a lack of interest from financial institutions because it is difficult to make money from a plant we can all grow. All of us should be concerned because the number of pain patients keeps increasing in Canada, with a growing number of seniors and patients surviving a terminal illness. Claude Roberto, PHD, president, Edmonton ( Alberta) Nerve Pain Association - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.