Pubdate: Thu, 20 Apr 2017
Source: Vancouver 24hours (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Vancouver 24 hrs.
Author: Ada Slivinski
Page: A4


There are some pretty substantial medicinal claims around marijuana.
Children who no longer have seizures thanks to cannabis oil, symptoms
of multiple sclerosis stalled or in some cases reversed thanks to the

I've spoken with many people who say marijuana has drastically changed
their lives for the better and that they would not be functioning at
anywhere near the level they are today without it.

I spent one afternoon with Chris Nelson, the coowner of Weeds South
Van, and he spoke openly and frankly about the desperation that led
him to try giving his wife cannabis oil and the drastic way it has
changed both of their lives for the better. While I was at the shop I
also met a young man who became addicted to opioids after his leg was
amputated and doctors prescribed him meds for the pain. He credits pot
with helping him kick the habit by easing some of the downsickness
that comes with withdrawal. He now works at Weeds and says many of the
people who come through the door have used marijuana for the same reason.

I asked Nelson how he feels about the recreational push and protest
parties like 420 in light of the serious reasons that brought him to
pot. He said he sees them all as one push. "It's all medicinal," he
told me. In his eyes, everyone who uses marijuana does so to
self-medicate, whether they know it or not.

This is where the medical pot argument stops making sense. I may be an
optimist, but I'm not naive enough to think solving life's problems is
as easy as taking a toke. Window advertisements for dispensaries list
an extremely broad list of ailments - from loss of appetite, to
trouble sleeping, to back pain. Everybody has something that in theory
could be treated by marijuana and this is where the message gets
confusing - especially for kids. If marijuana is a miracle drug that
can help not only the most ill MS patients, but can correct every
other minor ailment, what's the problem with using the drug? This is
exactly what I've heard from preteens and teenagers in the schoolyard.

The message is confusing. And, as the federal government gets set to
legalize the drug by next summer, they better make sure they have some
clear messaging in place because there are some serious risks and side
effects we can't ignore.
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