Could the end of Canada’s medical cannabis program be near? If it were left up to a few doctors in Canada, it would come to an end this fall as the country ushers in a legal retail adult consumption market. According to the Canadian Medical Association Vice-President of Medical Professionalism, many doctors in Canada are not comfortable with recommending medical cannabis to patients due to the lack of research and studies surrounding its efficiency. It is this lack of research that has prevented medical cannabis from being covered by the majority of health insurances that are commonly used to cover pharmaceuticals for patients in the country.
These doctors believe that once cannabis is legal for adults if an individual wishes to utilize cannabis as a medicine, they can simply purchase it from the retail market. Seeing how doctors can’t formerly “prescribe” a regimen of cannabis for approved patients in the country but instead can only approve or authorize their use of cannabis, this may make sense.
That is until you look at the bigger picture. What about the pediatric patients? What about the plethora of kids that rely on this medicine to treat life-threatening conditions? Are parents supposed to illegally provide cannabis for them from the adult market seeing how they would not be able to obtain a “legal” status without first being of adult age?
There is also the question of the elderly cannabis patient population. While some would still have access to mail order cannabis on the retail market, many of them would not. This would require them to frequently visit a retail store, something that could be very difficult or even impossible for some.
While it is the belief of many that all cannabis use is medicinal, there is a big difference between utilizing cannabis oil for treating a child’s seizures and a 25-year-old just looking to relax after work. While both should have legal access to this widely misunderstood plant for that to be possible, it would require Canada to retain their medical cannabis program, or completely remove the restriction of who can have legal access to cannabis entirely.
Hopefully, instead of abolishing the entire medical cannabis program, these doctors will choose to educate themselves regarding this plant and help their patients gain a better understanding of just how effective cannabis is as a medicine.
Ashley is a freelance cannabis writer and the co-owner of CannaLance. Her passion for sharing education and truth surrounding cannabis stems from a personal loss. Ashley has always had an elevated relationship with cannabis but it wasn't until 2015 that she turned that passion and relationship into a career as a cannabis writer.