Pubdate: Mon, 11 Aug 2014
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2014 Postmedia Network
Author: Marc Wayne
Page: 10


Re: "Doctors put in untenable position," Aug. 8. Dr. Chris Simpson, 
incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association, made some 
important points regarding medicinal cannabis.

By default, doctors have been made the gatekeepers for the legal use 
of cannabis for medical purposes. Patients look to their doctors for 
guidance on managing their health conditions, including options such 
as medicinal cannabis.

Simpson is correct that cannabis is different from other treatment 
options. It is regulated by Health Canada separately from traditional 
prescription medicines, and while there is a growing body of clinical 
research on the therapeutic benefits and the risks of cannabis, it is 
still less than exists for many prescription drugs.

However, thousands of Canadian patients are already authorized to 
receive medicinal cannabis to manage symptoms of conditions such as 
chronic pain, side-effects from cancer chemotherapy, multiple 
sclerosis, arthritis and other illnesses.

The number of patients will grow. And they will continue to look to 
their physicians for guidance on how to use cannabis as safely and 
effectively as possible.

It is vital that doctors have access to the latest information 
regarding medicinal cannabis, and that licensed cannabis producers 
play by the regulatory rules and invest in physician education and 
clinical research.

Marc Wayne


Marc Wayne is president and CEO of Bedrocan Canada Inc., a Health 
Canada-licensed producer of medicinal cannabis.
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