October 12, 2012

Until the advent of chemical pharmaceuticals natural ingredients were used in “patent” medicines.  Cannabis was the active ingredient in the majority of over the counter potions and remedies until the 1930’s.  With the wide range of illnesses and afflictions that cannabis treats, this was one of the major healing herbs used for thousands upon thousands of years.  Along with the other natural herbs and substances doctors and healers used cannabis regularly in treating patients.

                  Recently studies showing the effectiveness of many herbs have been done, comparing the relative side effects and drug interactions of plants vs pharmaceuticals.  In many cases drugs cause severe problems.  Drug interactions are responsible for several thousand deaths every year on Canada.  Cannabis: zero deaths.  This natural herb has the same toxicity index as WATER.  One study         compared Prozac to cannabis in terms of anti-depressant effects.  Cannabis ‘won’  hands down due to its non-toxic effects, self titration and overall increase in the      patients response and well being.  In that Prozac is one of the most widely prescribed drugs, it appears that doctors would much rather prescribe the chemical than the natural herb.  I suspect there might be a financial aspect to this phenomena.

 Health Canada will provide a legal exemption to patients for a wide range of medical problems under the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR).  This program was created in 2001 after an epileptic patient, Terry Parker, won a Charter case in the Ontario Court of Appeals.  He was able to demonstrate to the court than cannabis helped with his condition and reduced or eliminated his severe siezures.  A number of subsequent court cases have held that these Regulations are a violation of rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Right now another case is awaiting a decision by the OCA regarding doctors being the gatekeepers to the MMAR program.  Apparently a vast majority of doctors will not sign an exemption under Section 56 for two reasons: first the healing herb does not have a Drug Identification Number and secondly they do not want to become known as a “pot doctor”.  Many doctors have little or no  experience with cannabis and other natural remedies.  I suppose this means that herbs are grown and drugs are manufactured.

Today there are approximately 10,000 exemptions issued over the past decade since the MMAR was created.  Health Canada states that over a million Canadians would qualify.  The problem, of course, is that the government makes it very difficult to apply and our doctors are afraid of the Federal Government.  After all, a “pot doctor” can be subject to a range of penalties like Dr. Kammermans near Bancroft.  He’s been raided and jailed for daring to assist   patients in getting exemptions.


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