Pubdate: Fri, 10 Nov 2017
Source: Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 The Lethbridge Herald
Author: J.W. Schnarr
Page: A3


A discussion on medicinal marijuana, its uses and who is using it was
the on the menu at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs'
weekly speakers series.

Dr. Ife Abiola, medical director for the 420 Clinic, spoke on the drug
and gave anecdotal information on many of the patents seen at the clinic.

He said it is important for local residents to get informed on the
drug ahead of impending national legalization.

"This is going to be changing a lot of different facets of our lives,"
he said. "You can expect to be seeing whether it's through a medical
clinic, dispensary or other people just using in a ubiquitous way in
our lives. Everyone needs to have a certain level of education about
this. "

Close to 250,000 patients are signed up for medical marijuana in
Canada, compared with about 30,000 two years ago.

According to Health Canada, the number of users is

Private growers licensed by Health Canada to sell to medical users
will also supply the recreational pot market.

Many growers are expanding as fast as they can and Health Canada is
approving licences more quickly with the department streamlining the
procedure for obtaining them and hiring more staff.

Abiola said Lethbridge is the second-highest patient base for the 420

"There's been a huge demand in Lethbridge," he said. "People are very
enthusiastic for medical cannabis."

He said the majority of users he sees in the clinic are in the 50- to
65-year-old range, and consist of people looking for help with
ailments such as pain relief, anti-inflammation medicine, and sleeping
aids or anti-anxiety medication.

This includes people suffering from a host of ailments, from cancer to

He told those in attendance the drug is useful as an alternative to
opioid usage, and in places where marijuana has been legalized,
instances of overdose deaths have decreased - mainly because the
active component in cannabis does not affect breathing or heart rates.

"I don't think people in this age of information need to be going into
this blind," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Matt