Pubdate: Mon, 28 Apr 2014
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 The London Free Press
Author: Hank Daniszewski
Page: A3


Medical Marijuana: Dundas St. Clinic Will Cut Crime, Says Coun. Stephen Orser

Even before it opens this week, a storefront medical marijuana clinic 
in east London is attracting a steady stream of potential patients, 
its owner says.

"This clinic was built solely for this purpose. Londoners can think 
what they want, but people are coming in here like crazy. This is the 
first one in Canada but there's going to be a lot more," Dr. John Craven said.

He will start assessing patients Wednesday at the Options Health Care 
clinic at 790 Dundas St.

Since the clinic's opening was announced two weeks ago, people 
interested in obtaining permission to use medical marijuana for a 
variety of ailments have been dropping in, Craven said.

Coun. Stephen Orser is a strong supporter of the clinic that's in his ward.

The clinic is a secure, professional facility and will be "a flagship 
for better health flying here in London," he said.

Medical marijuana offers a safe alternative to addictive opiate 
drugs, and the clinic will cut down on street trafficking and the 
break-ins and fires associated with home-based marijuana grow-ops, Orser said.

"I don't see people on medical marijuana robbing garages or injecting 
in alleys. . . . This is a well-thought out solution recognized by 
federal law."

The clinic had some startup delays and was only taking contact 
information, but Craven said he's ready to give patients 
authorizations to order medical marijuana from commercial producers.

Health Canada anticipates most medical marijuana will be delivered to 
patients directly by registered mail, but pickup at a medical clinic is allowed

One medical marijuana user, who only wanted to be identified as Jay, 
said having a secure, private place for patients to pick up their 
product is much needed.

Jay, 39, was outed as a prescription pot user at his former apartment 
building after the letter carrier left a letter from Health Canada on 
top of his mailbox because it wouldn't fit inside.

"It says 'Medicinal Marijuana Access Program.' There's a dead 
giveaway. Next thing I know my lock gets popped off my mailbox."

Craven doesn't expect patients will be able to pick up their 
marijuana at the clinic until mid-June because the newly licensed 
producers are scrambling to build their supply.

He has already issued authorizations to use medical marijuana for 120 
clients of Clinic 528, a methadone clinic at 528 Dundas. St. where 
he's been an associate director for 12 years. Craven said medical 
marijuana could replace addictive prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin,

A referral from a family doctor is not necessary but patients at the 
clinic have to provide documentation of their condition.

Typical patients are 30- to 60-years-old with mild to moderate pain, 
anxiety and sleep problems who don't want to use prescription pills, 
Craven said.

After years at the methadone clinic, he said he's confident the new 
facility can handle the pent-up demand.

"I've been dealing with 'swamped' for the last 12 years."

- - - -



On April 1, new federal regulations shifted medical marijuana 
production to large commercial operators. A ban on personal 
cultivation is held up, pending a court challenge.


At 790 Dundas St. open 11 a.m-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 11 
a.m-5 p.m. Saturday Patients are assessed on site, order from a 
commercial producer and pick up the marijuana on site when it is 
delivered For more information e-mail  or 

with files from Free Press reporter Dale Carruthers 
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom