Pubdate: Mon, 03 Aug 2015
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2015 The Western Star
Author: Louis Power


Founder Says Doctors WHO Refuse to Prescribe Cannabis Contribute to Crime

Fabian Henry hasn't been able to find a single doctor in Newfoundland 
and Labrador who will prescribe medical marijuana - the drug that 
saved his life.

Henry is the founder Marijuana For Trauma (MFT), a veteran-owned and 
- -operated company that helps veterans with post-traumatic stress 
disorder (PTSD) find relief with cannabinoid therapy. MFT recently 
expanded into Newfoundland, opening a clinic on Peet Street in St. 
John's in May. But so far, he said, the group has had to rely on a 
clinic in Barrie, Ont., to help clients obtain prescriptions.

"Right now we're relying on telemedicine from a different province, 
when in my opinion, Newfoundland should step up and help their own 
people by providing a doctor who's compassionate," said Henry.

"By not medically prescribing this to those who deserve it, you're 
contributing, basically, to illegal activity, because they have to 
get it somewhere."

And people here are getting it, he said.

Since opening up shop in St. John's, more than 50 clients have walked 
through MFT's doors to avail of resources and peer support. Henry 
said there are a lot more veterans in the province who could benefit 
from the service. There are about 15,000 vets in Canada diagnosed 
with PTSD, he said, and with 4,000-5,000 vets in this province, there 
are bound to be a few with PTSD here.

Turned life around

Henry would not have been alive to help other veterans if he hadn't 
discovered medical marijuana. After six deployments in 12 years of 
service with the Canadian military, he was released in 2012 for PTSD.

"From 2007 when I was diagnosed to 2012, I tried the traditional nine 
pills a day that were given to me, and I almost killed myself, and 
almost killed someone else. And then in 2010 I tried cannabis for the 
first time, and I gave up every prescription except for that in the 
last five years. I've been doing much, much better," he said, adding 
he also finds yoga, and spending time with his children and in 
nature, therapeutic.

No pill like it

So how does cannabis help with PTSD?

"The scientific thing that's happening, in a nutshell, is that 
there's a drop in anandamide and a spike in CD1 receptors. And 
heating THC up to a specific temperature levels out those receptors 
and makes us feel normal," Henry said.

"There's actually no pill in the world developed specifically for 
PTSD that can do that. And I've taken every pill and I've never 
gotten relief. And I've heard the same story over and over."

While MFT's focus is on helping veterans find that relief, Henry said 
the group helps others who ask.

Expansion plans

Henry has big plans for MFT, which is run by volunteers. Now 
operating in Oromocto, N.B., St. John's, Markham, Ont., and Sydney, 
N.S., he hopes to see it become a household name one day.

He said at first, the organization was challenged by stigma - both 
about PTSD and cannabinoid therapy - but with time and education it 
has gained a lot of support.

MFT is immersed in legal action that Henry said is holding the 
company back from growing.

Henry was directed not to comment on the legal action while it's 
underway, but he said MFT is waiting until it's finalized before 
going ahead with expansion plans. In the meantime, he said, the 
company will continue growing "organically."

"That's the best way to do it. We're not out there pushing it on 
anyone. They come to us."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom