Author Topic: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans  (Read 29878 times)

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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #75 on: October 01, 2016, 14:59:24 »

Arthritis patients use Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) dominant cannabis strains to help them improve their quality of life. 



The medical cannabis landscape in Canada is rapidly changing. As more and more doctors, researchers and patients expand their awareness of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, the popularity of this treatment option grows.

On September 20, the Arthritis Society announced their commitment to furthering arthritis-focused research by investing $4.82 million. The investment will be used to fund 23 research projects across Canada, a portion of which includes investigating the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for the management of arthritis. The Arthritis Society has, in the past, been very vocal about their support of research focusing on arthritis and medical cannabis, and was one of the early supporters of facilitating patient access to medical cannabis.

In the face of all too often ineffective treatment options, arthritis patients are turning to medical cannabis to help manage their pain, inflammation and improve their quality of life.

Challenges Faced by Arthritis Patients

Arthritis is a term used to describe a set of highly complex conditions characterized by a variety of symptoms. The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition which can affect any joint in the body, but tends to appear in smaller joints such as fingers, wrists and toes. It is characterized by pain, swelling, deformities, low-grade temperature, dry eyes, low energy, fatigue and mobility issues. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease which affects more that 3 million Canadians.  It typically affects the larger joints in the body and is the leading cause of hip and knee replacement surgeries. Arthritis patients typically experience severe pain, inflammation and a reduced quality of life. In addition, many patients experience impaired mobility which often leads to weight gain, sleep apnea and non-restorative sleep. As with any chronic pain condition, arthritis patients are tasked with managing the difficult experience of the chronic pain cycle. But, remember, breaking just one link in the chronic pain cycle can help improve the remaining symptoms, as well!



The cannabis plant is made up of over 100 cannabinoids, the active compounds responsible for decreasing the experience of painful stimuli. The two most well-known cannabinoids, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are believed to be primarily responsible for providing analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Research shows that cannabis is an effective treatment, with relatively few side effects, for chronic pain conditions. A combination of vaporized, edible and topical forms of cannabis products can help manage arthritic pain and inflammation on a variety of levels. In addition to providing pain relief, in the traditional sense, the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis may also be useful for decreasing inflammation, reducing stiffness and improving mobility. This improvement in flexibility can help make exercise even more effective! For more information on how cannabis helps patients maintain healthy weight and exercise habits, please see our blog post here.

Cannabis Helps Improve the Quality and Duration of Sleep

Sleep remains one of the most important factors for successful management of difficult chronic pain conditions. Good quality sleep helps the brain battle inflammation and the immune system ward off illness. A lack of sleep counteracts the body’s ability to cope with daily stressors in life and can pose additional challenges for patients simultaneously managing multiple symptoms such as pain, inflammation, stiffness and reduced mobility.

Studies show that high cannabinoid levels promote sleep, and that THC is highly sedative. Cannabis is often used by patients to help them get to sleep and stay asleep. In addition, for those patients struggling with low energy levels, research shows that CBD can be useful for inducing homeostasis and reducing fatigue during the day.

-Ljubica Kostovic
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #76 on: October 04, 2016, 18:27:06 »
Patients, doctors upset by Canada’s commercialization of marijuana

By JOSH WINGROVE
Health Canada is getting out of the medical marijuana business, opening up the industry to large producers who will be regulated.

When Health Canada got into the medical marijuana business, it was a small market: Just 477 people were licensed to legally buy medical marijuana in 2002, one year into the program.

But that was then. There are now 37,000 licensed users, a figure the federal government projects will grow to more than 400,000 in the next decade, all of them with access to a drug subsidized heavily by taxpayers. So, as numbers and costs mount, Ottawa is getting out of the game – switching from middleman to regulator.

Producers are rushing to get a piece of what Health Canada projects will be a $1.3-billion business by 2024, but it's a move nonetheless fraught with confusion. Current users and Canada's doctors are among those opposing it.

"We've been trying to fight it, but it's something they're going to push through regardless," said Marcel Gignac, 50, a medical marijuana user from Nova Scotia. Mr. Gignac has an advancing form of multiple sclerosis and has used the drug since 2008. "It was the only thing I could get to get some relief from the pain and spasms," he said.

Under the old system, licensed users could grow their own marijuana, buy from licensed small-scale home growers or buy through the government. But that program was "open to abuse," and in-home growers posed fire and public safety risks, Health Canada said in a statement this week. All those options will be off the table as of April 1.

The old system is also costly – roughly $13.8-million a year to administer, a figure set to rise with thousands of new users. The cost is due to the administrative burden – an application took 10 weeks to process – and loss from sales, with users covering only about a quarter of the government's purchase costs.

Under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, introduced in June, the government will license commercial producers, who in turn deal directly with buyers, who are required to get approval from a doctor. All Health Canada does is license and inspect the producers.

Ottawa expects its administrative costs to drop even as the industry expands. So far, 171 producers have applied, and two – Prairie Plant Systems Inc., which had been Health Canada's sole grower, and its subsidiary CanniMed Ltd. – have been approved.

In a statement, Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the new rules will boost safety, by doing away with the small-scale home grow-ops that fire officials say pose risks, while reducing government costs.

The move is the latest overhaul of drug policy by the Conservative government. This week, Ms. Ambrose blocked a bid to prescribe heroin and also made changes to ensure that cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, mushrooms and "bath salts" cannot be prescribed. Meanwhile, the government has attacked Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's support for the legalization of marijuana. Court rulings compel the government to provide medical marijuana.

But Mr. Gignac and fellow medical marijuana users, or patients, are fighting the changes and considering a legal challenge, saying costs will soar and the quality will drop. It was cheap to grow, and the government sold it at $5 a gram. Meanwhile, CanniMed is advertising prices of $9 to $12 a gram – out of the reach, Mr. Gignac said, of many of the terminally ill users who cannot work.

Commercial sales also cannot top 150 grams per month – not enough for some users. Mr. Gignac, for instance, uses 900 grams per month. He suspects many current users will buy it on the street or continue to grow their own – both illegal after April 1. "Other patients are looking at what their other options are," he said.

Health Canada had been the gatekeeper – now, doctors will be. (Provinces are also free to allow pharmacists and nurses to prescribe marijuana.) And physicians across the country have sounded the alarm.

"We're being asked to write prescriptions, and it's akin to having a blindfold on," said Louis Hugo Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical Association. Research into the effectiveness of marijuana is incomplete, and doctors worry they could face penalties from their regulatory bodies or from the courts, he said.

"It's rather unfortunate that the federal government dumped this problem onto the lap of physicians. I don't know if it's going to serve patients' best interest, because physicians – at least the ones I talk to – are very leery of getting involved in prescribing in marijuana," Dr. Francescutti said.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #77 on: October 04, 2016, 20:06:25 »

There are a lot of THC fans out there. But, nonpsychoactive CBD also deserves some credit. Medicinal and recreational consumers alike might enjoy the smooth, upbeat, and relaxing vibe CBD strains can create. Don’t expect a psychoactive experience, however. High-CBD herb is all about calm, clear, serenity. Here’s what it’s like to smoke a high-CBD, low-THC strain.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #79 on: October 27, 2016, 14:09:33 »
A point to note, Canadian LP MedReleaf gets their strains from Tikon Olam.  I am registered with them, and I love every strain I have ordered from them.

https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/blog/medical-marijuana-research/Israel-Marijuana-Research-vs-United-States-Marijuana-Research-Why-the-U-S-is-Losing-in-the-Race-to-Study-Medical-Marijuana




Israel Marijuana Research vs. United States Marijuana Research — Why the U.S. is Losing in the Race to Study Medical Marijuana



Government backing of marijuana research makes all the difference. It has in Israel, where the Ministry of Health is a huge proponent of the medical marijuana industry. Both the government as well as Israeli medical companies are pushing hard to support scientific research; even ultra-conservative religious leaders like Rabbi Yaakov Litzman are on board. Litzman serves a dual role as both orthodox rabbi and Health Minister to the tiny country. Litzman says “we must take the morality out of marijuana”. Israel is already a pharmaceutical leader and big supplier to the US, and the small country has made major investments in cannabis production in hopes of making medical marijuana a leading export as well.

Litzman’s decision to back the research was due largely to the benefits of marijuana and how it has been shown to help sick people. In fact, in 2015, nearly 25,000 patients were being treated with cannabis, for a host of ailments such as cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Crohn’s Disease. The number of treated patients is expected to keep climbing, potentially meaning hundreds of millions of dollars added to Israel’s economy.

Currently, Israel does not allow marijuana or extracts to be exported, but in September, their Agricultural Minister, Uri Ariel, announced his intention to do so, and companies are already making strategic moves to be ready when it happens. A leading Israeli company, Tikun Olam, is working to get patents on its best strains and is creating joint ventures with Canadian and American companies. Tikun Olam is purported to have developed a plant strain with the highest level of tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) ever grown, and another plant with a high cannabidiol (CBD) level minus the psychoactive chemical, which could have great benefits for children or people who need treatment without having to spend the day in a mental fog. Another private company, iCAN, which does cannabis research, has invested over $50 million in 2014 and 2015 in the licensing of medical marijuana patents. The company expects to double that investiment to $100 million by 2017.

Israel is not without its problems. There are still critics of the medical marijuana research movement, and strict regulations that make research very difficult. Nevertheless, restrictions are loosening, and the country remains the leader in agriculture as well as science and technology, largely because the government has come a long way in its thinking and support. Another big stride is that cannabis is not a religiously restricted food in the Jewish religion; in fact, Jews are permitted to eat anything natural that helps one stay healthy, which is why medical cannabis has been accepted by religiously conservative rabbis and other church leaders. The government continues to be thoughtful and decrease restrictions, meaning scientists work with increasing ease to test and study.

Unfortunately, the freedom that Israeli scientists have is not shared by U.S. scientists. Laws in both the United States and Israel used to be the same restrictive set. Marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug in the US (per the US Controlled Substances Act), and the massive red tape discourages even the most bold scientists from even touching the research. Reportedly, even if a scientist follows all the procedures, the permits are most often disapproved by the applicable agencies. Because of this trend, there are currently no major American companies with a medical marijuana drug on the market, despite the fact that it has been legalized in 24 states. In August, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continued the trend by denying two petitions to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Marijuana thus remains a schedule 1 controlled substance, along with heroin, Quaalude, and LSD. DEA stated that marijuana “does not meet the criteria for currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse.” For a country that prides itself on being the world leader of all things, ironically the U.S. seems dead set on losing the race to study medical marijuana.

Yet the petitions and push for studies continue, including an open invitiation to patients everywhere, to participate in a nationwide/worldwide crowd-sourced cannabis peer reviewed study in order to contribute data that will help to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, by downloading the free MarijuanaDoctors.com mobile app — or registering on the company's mobile site or website online — participating patients will use the Symptom Tracker feature to document data about their specific symptoms, and the benefits of medicating with marijuana has on their condition. If you are a state-qualified medical marijuana patient — or just a patient who uses marijuana as a medicine — in the United States, or worldwide, you can participate to help prove that marijuana is medicine. In addition to collecting data that will help facilitate the rescheduling of cannabis, patients can also use the tracker to monitor their personal progress, while gaining further insights on how to further improve your condition. Furthermore, the cannabis titration data will be featured in the company's free monthly newsletter, allowing readers to monitor the study's overall progress and unfolding developments.

The economic boon that Israel will see pales in comparison to the potential size of the US market for legalized marijuana, which could be worth $22 billion by 2020. For the sake of patients nationwide, it is time for the U.S. to join the race and follow in Israel’s footsteps now, before it's too late. For more information and to get started using the Symptom Tracker now, please visit MarijuanaDoctors.com


« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 17:50:40 by John Tescione »
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #80 on: October 31, 2016, 12:25:01 »


http://www.dopemagazine.com/cannabis-and-ptsd-combating-trauma-with-thc-and-cbd/

Cannabis And PTSD: Combating Trauma With THC And CBD

Lynette Shaw opened one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries in California. From day one, she had veterans of all ages and wars flock to her store in search of relief for phantom limbs, sleepless nights and the trauma that followed them home from the battlefields. Through trial and error, and a lot of patient feedback, Lynette pieced together information on the relationship between THC, CBD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“We didn’t know it was CBD helping veterans in the early days. We would make brownies with Bakersfield Brown for the spinal injury patients because it helped with the swelling.” Years later, Lynette co-founded Veterans Cannabis Group with Iraq War Veteran, Sergeant Aaron Augustis. Their main goal was and remains to educate and support veterans struggling with the residual traumas of war.

brianainhercastle_0359_dope_october

PTSD is a disorder resulting from a traumatic experience. Whether from warfare, an accident, disaster, abuse or another type of serious event—PTSD can affect all types of people from all walks of life. A person with PTSD may be triggered to feel stressed or frightened long after the danger has passed. This prolonged “fight-or-flight” mode may cause nightmares, flashbacks and/or isolation. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eight percent of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.

For those struggling with mental health issues, particularly PTSD, a good night’s sleep is crucial for healing the mind and body. To achieve a full night’s rest, strong purple or fruity indicas have been reported by users as a great way to combat nightmares. Eating edibles before bed gives a user longer-lasting effects as ingesting marijuana has a slower release time.

CBDs have become increasingly popular because of the seemingly endless list of benefits. CBD has been reported to help a wide range of ailments from chronic pain to epilepsy. For those suffering from PTSD, CBDs are best for relieving inflammation and are especially useful for those who do not want the psychoactive high that comes with THC.

While many find relief in CBD-dominant strains, Lynette recommends medicating with both THC and CBD for optimal affects as they have been known to enhance one another. High-THC strains, particularly sativas, can stimulate patients and promote feelings of wellbeing. Lynette, who has also struggled with PTSD, says that she is particularly fond of Sour Diesel for lifting feelings of heaviness and depression. Sativas or sativa-dominant hybrids are also helpful in physically stimulating and encouraging patients to get moving and explore the outside world.



“We didn’t know it was CBD helping veterans in the early days. We would make brownies with Bakersfield Brown for the spinal injury patients because it helped with the swelling.”


“We didn’t know it was CBD helping veterans in the early days. We would make brownies with Bakersfield Brown for the spinal injury patients because it helped with the swelling.”



Lynnette Shaw recieves a WomenGROW honors award as the Godmother of Cannabis, stands next to Elaine B. Holtz Producer/Host “Women’s Spaces”
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2016, 17:25:40 »
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #82 on: November 25, 2016, 23:28:49 »
Government looks to control quantity and price of Veteran's medications.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3081590/government-to-cut-how-much-medical-marijuana-veterans-can-get-for-free/

Quote
The federal government is cutting the amount of medical marijuana provided to veterans from 10 grams to 3 grams per day.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr made the announcement in Vancouver on Tuesday morning. Ottawa has faced ballooning costs in recent years as the number of veterans seeking to obtain medical marijuana to treat their ailments has skyrocketed. <snip>


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-places-three-gram-limit-on-amount-of-medical-pot-it-covers-for-veterans/article32976065/

Ottawa places three-gram limit on medical pot coverage for veterans
Quote
The federal government will significantly reduce the amount of medical marijuana for which it reimburses veterans as it attempts to rein in a program expected to cost $75-million this year.

The new policy, which will limit veterans to three grams of medical marijuana a day instead of 10, was announced six months after a report by Auditor-General Michael Ferguson identified a massive surge in medical marijuana prescriptions for veterans and raised concerns about the small number of doctors writing those prescriptions.

The new limits take effect on May 21, 2017, for veterans whose marijuana prescriptions are already covered. New patients will start at the lower daily limit immediately. Veterans authorized by a specialist to receive more than three grams a day can seek exemptions.

Folks,

There's LOTS of info out in social media (FB, etc), government websites and Veterans' organizations. Much, much more than we can compete with here.

If you are genuinely interested, please visit some of the Vets' sites and read their side of the story. Support those you can, any way you can.

Tanks! :tank2:
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 23:34:32 by recceguy »
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #85 on: November 27, 2016, 12:16:16 »
http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/help/faq/cannabis-medical-purposes

Cannabis for Medical Purposes: New Reimbursement Policy

Q1. What is Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) new reimbursement policy on cannabis for medical purposes?

Veterans Affairs Canada’s reimbursement policy on Cannabis for Medical Purposes establishes a limit of three grams per day of dried or fresh marijuana, or the equivalent in cannabis oil. VAC is also establishing a rate of up to $8.50 per gram whether taken in dried or fresh marijuana or the equivalent value in cannabis oil form. Licensed Producers are responsible to establish how much oil can be provided for the dollar equivalency of the dried cannabis authorization. An authorization is provided by a Veteran’s health care practitioner.

Q2. Why did VAC reduce this daily maximum reimbursement to three grams?

The maximum of three grams per day was based on current scientific evidence and consultations with Veterans, stakeholders, licensed producers and medical experts.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada considered the available scientific medical evidence and advises physicians on appropriate dosages. Health Canada published a fact sheet on daily dosage amounts for cannabis for medical purposes. The average Canadian is authorized for less than three grams per day of cannabis for medical purposes. However, although VAC will reimburse Veterans for up to three grams per day, a Veteran could purchase additional grams per day through their provider, if authorized by a health care practitioner.

As more is learned about the efficacy of marijuana VAC may revise the reimbursement policy.

Q3. Why is VAC establishing a rate of up to $8.50 per gram? Is it to save money?

In the Spring 2016 Auditor General (AG) of Canada Report on Drug Benefits, the AG recommended that the Department explore ways to ensure cost effectiveness for cannabis for medical purposes. It is important to note that between April and September of 2016, the Department spent approximately $31 million on cannabis for medical purposes, $10 million more than the entire year before.

As such, consistent with how the Department administers its other health care benefits, VAC is establishing a rate of up to $8.50 per gram whether taken in dried or fresh marijuana or the equivalent in cannabis oil form. The rate will ensure that what Veterans are charged, and the Department reimburses, is a fair market value price.

While cost savings is a secondary consideration to the health and well-being of Veterans, the Auditor General made it clear that Veterans Affairs Canada is also required to ensure good value for money in the administration of its programs.

Q4. What is the exceptional circumstances process?

Requests for more than three grams per day may be approved when supported by a medical specialist in a relevant specialty. The opinion and rationale of the medical specialists will be considered in determining whether to approve amounts above three grams per day. For example, a Veteran who has pain from cancer would need to provide documentation for exceptional circumstances from an oncologist.

Q5. How is VAC going to help Veterans transition from 10 grams per day to three grams per day?

The Department will continue to reimburse authorized Veterans for more than three grams per day of cannabis for medical purposes for 6 months after the announcement date of the new reimbursement policy. As of May 22, 2017, a maximum of three grams per day will be reimbursed. If needed, Veterans are encouraged to contact their health care provider for assistance with transitioning to three grams per day.

Q6. Will VAC reimburse Veterans for growing their own marijuana?

No. VAC’s reimbursement policy allows for reimbursement of dried marijuana, fresh marijuana and cannabis oil when it is purchased from a licensed producer in Canada. Licensed producers are governed by Health Canada’s regulations in order to ensure the quality of their product. This provides the department with assurance that the health and well-being of Veterans is always at the forefront.

The movement to allow individuals to grow their own marijuana for medical purposes was to ensure access to the product without financial hardship. Within the Veterans Affairs context, Veterans can be reimbursed, therefore Veterans are not faced with financial hardship should they be authorized to access marijuana for medical purposes.

Q7. What is the yearly cost to the Government of reimbursing cannabis for medical purposes?

Veterans Affairs Canada spent $247.8 million dollars on treatment benefits in 2015-2016 and $21 million of that amount was spent on cannabis for medical purposes. Between April and September of 2016, the Department spent approximately $31 million on cannabis for medical purposes, $10 million more than the entire year before.

Q8. Is it true that the increase in use of marijuana for medical purposes has resulted in a corresponding decrease in opioid use?

Overall use of the prescription program has trended down in the last few years, except for marijuana for medical purposes. This can be attributed in part to the declining population of Veterans that has resulted in less Veterans using the program.

The Department's internal review compared the reimbursements of prescription drugs for six months before and six months after VAC's first reimbursement for marijuana for medical purposes. The review found that no definitive conclusions could be drawn between rates of reimbursement for opioids and marijuana for medical purposes.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #86 on: November 28, 2016, 14:56:10 »




'A high state of distress': Veterans in N.L. fear stricter medical marijuana limits



Ryan Edwards, the president of Marijuana for Trauma in St. John's, is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, who credits cannabis with saving his life. (CBC)

Ryan Edwards says many veterans need marijuana every day to function

CBC News Posted: Nov 27, 2016 3:29 PM NT Last Updated: Nov 27, 2016 3:29 PM NT

The head of the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of Marijuana for Trauma says new federal regulations announced  to scale back marijuana coverage for veterans are a bad idea.

Ryan Edwards told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show on Friday that the federal government's plan to scale back the reimbursement limit for medical marijuana from 10 grams a day to three in May 2017 is short-sighted.

As President of Marijuana for Trauma in N.L., Edwards helps veterans learn about the benefits of marijuana to treat PTSD and teaches them how to file the proper paperwork to qualify for coverage.

    'They're not stoned, they're medicated.'
    - Ryan Edwards

He spent nearly 14 years in the Canadian Forces, was diagnosed with PTSD,  and retired from the military in 2009.

"A lot of clients right now are in a high state of distress, they're worried about how they're going to function with the lower dosage," said Edwards.

"They need that every single day to function, just to go to the grocery store, just to go to the post office, to spend time with their children."

"They're not stoned, they're medicated."

Edwards said that while 10 grams of marijuana coverage may seem large to people who don't rely on medical marijuana, it's really quite normal.

"There's a thing called functional dose that you have to reach and smoking one gram, two grams a day is not going to get you your functional dose, you're going to remain being stoned. You're not going to properly medicate," he said.

"The higher the dose, the more cannabinoids are in your body, the more even you feel."
Plans to fight decision to lower limit

Edwards said medical marijuana use helped him escape the throes of prescription drugs.

"I was taking 15 different pharmaceuticals every single day for about five years."

"Side effects keep compounding and you're essentially just a walking zombie."

That type of use is typical for the veterans who come to Marijuana for Trauma, said Edwards, and he worries that if the dosage is lowered, more veterans might rely more on prescription drugs.

But his group of marijuana advocates isn't planning to accept the new regulations without protest.

    ''They don't want us to live a long prosperous life, they want to cut off our benefits at any given point, they want to get you back to the workforce right away and they don't want to really support us.'
    - Ryan Edwards

He said Marijuana for Trauma founder Fabian Henry is planning a march from Oromocto, N.B. to Parliament Hill in May, and plans to make it the largest peer-supported rally in Canada's history.

There's also talk of a constitutional challenge, said Edwards.

He said the decision to cut the limit of reimbursable marijuana coverage for veterans is just another sign of the federal government's mistreatment of veterans.

"The government of Canada would save money with all veterans being deceased," said Edwards.

"They don't want us to live a long prosperous life, they want to cut off our benefits at any given point, they want to get you back to the workforce right away and they don't want to really support us."
With files from Krissy Holmes
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #87 on: November 28, 2016, 15:46:34 »
https://news.lift.co/medical-cannabis-clinical-research-canada-event-coming-montreal/


“Medical Cannabis and Clinical Research in Canada” event coming to Montreal


The Clinical Research Association of Canada (CRAC) will be hosting an event in Montreal on Dec 8th, 2016 titled “Medical Cannabis and Clinical Research in Canada”.


Medical marijuana or medical cannabis is a growing multi-billion dollar industry. Canada is positioned to be a leader in this industry and in the field of medical cannabis research. The cannabis plant is currently used for a wide variety of medical conditions, and exciting research is underway in Canada showing its therapeutic effects.

Event Date/Time: December 8th, 2016 from 6 to 10 pm

Event Location: Hilton Hampton Inn et Suites, 1900, route Transcanadienne, Dorval, Quebec H9P 2N4 Canada                           

Register Today: http://www.craconline.ca/event/crac-talks-montreal-medical-cannabis-and-clinical-research-in-canada/

Website: www.craconline.ca
Learning Objectives

Adam Greenblatt

    Provide an overview of the unique medical marijuana landscape in Quebec including barriers to safe and legal access to medical cannabis and the requirement to prescribe under a research study.
    Discuss his role as an advocate including his new role as Head of Quebec Engagement.

MedReleaf

    Discuss the clinical use of medical cannabis, including patient demographics and use in the management of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, PTSD and other conditions and symptoms.
    Discuss the current Canadian medical cannabis landscape, including breaking down the stigma, the role of the licensed producers, regulatory role of Health Canada, education of physicians and patients, and the chain from Production to Sales, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
    Introduce the research studies conducted at MedReleaf including future research opportunities and next steps for the industry.
    Review the roles and opportunities of working in this new and emerging industry.

Speakers

We are also thrilled to have individuals from one of the prominent Licensed Producers, MedReleaf (Shannon O’Hearn and Angelo Fefekos), to speak about the production of medical cannabinoids as well as the research that they are doing in this area including their landmark PTSD research study.

We are honoured to have a cannabis industry pioneer, Adam Greenblatt, who will share his insights on the medical marijuana landscape, including the barriers to safe and legal access to medical cannabis in Quebec.
About the Speakers

Adam Greenblatt is a self-taught advocate for safe access to medical cannabis and sensible drug policy reform and has been immersed in the cannabis movement and industry for more than a decade. Adam is currently the Head of Quebec Engagement for Tweed (Canada’s largest licensed producer under the ACMPR). He is a co-founder of Santé Cannabis, Montréal’s first cannabinoid clinic and medical cannabis resource centre. Santé Cannabis is the largest collaborator in the Quebec Cannabis Registry, which is a one-of- a-kind pharmacovigilance study into the use of medical cannabis.

MedReleaf is a Canadian Licensed Producer (under Health Canada) and distributor of medical cannabis and the only one that is ISO-9001:2008 certified. They provide more cannabis to patients than any other producer in Canada. They have over 20 ongoing investigative research initiatives, an extensive plant breeding program, and regular patient monitoring and data analysis. MedReleaf is focused on accelerating our understanding of the numerous benefits of medical cannabis, and on validating new treatment options for patients.

Angelo Fefekos: Angelo Fefekos is VP Quality Assurance & Compliance at MedReleaf and brings over a decade of experience in quality assurance and laboratory technology to MedReleaf operations. His leadership and technical skills were most recently demonstrated in his role as manager of a team of 40 in the Division of Diagnostic Medical Genetics and Allograft Technologies at Mount Sinai Hospital. There, he successfully implemented Canada’s first, hospital-based manufactured and labeled ‘sterile’ human tissue for transplant use. He is also a Member of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario.

Shannon O’Hearn: Shannon supervises a quickly growing team of 15, who service all MedReleaf patients (Patient Care Department). Shannon is also the Project Manager of Clinical Research, and works closely with other departments within MedReleaf to coordinate project planning, protocol development, regulatory and ethics submissions, and working relationships with external research teams and initiatives sponsored by MedReleaf.
About the Clinical Research Association of Canada (CRAC)

The Clinical Research Association of Canada (CRAC) provides a uniquely Canadian perspective designed to serve the needs of clinical research professionals. Regular dinner events offer members the opportunity to network with other clinical research professionals and hear from industry experts on hot topics facing our industry.

CRAC was started in May 1988 – making it over 25 years old!  In total we have about 15 meetings per year PLUS we host a 2 day conference, Canada Talks Pharma, being held in Montreal in 2017.

We are a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers!  CRAC is proud to offer its members the only Canadian certification in clinical research: Clinical Research Professional of Canada (CRPC).  The examination includes Health Canada, FDA and EMA regulations. The objectives are to provide a means for certification of Canadian clinical research professionals, to promote an understanding of Canadian regulations, to create a process for credentialing by a professional Canadian group, and to create a platform of recognition for Canadians working in clinical research located in Canada and around the world.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #88 on: November 30, 2016, 13:01:02 »
Cannabis for Parkinsons

https://youtu.be/rAdDdTZuNA8
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #89 on: November 30, 2016, 16:50:50 »
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/migraine-sufferer-finds-relief-in-cannabis-derived-oil-1.2886770

Migraine sufferer finds relief in cannabis-derived oil

Treatment has replaced patient’s painkillers but remains unlicensed in Ireland

Kitty Holland



Colette Frawley with a bottle of CBD oil; she says her neurological consultant refulsed to discuss the treatment with her. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times



Colette Frawley (61), who has suffered excruciating and debilitating migraines since childhood, recently discovered cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a derivative of cannabis. It has, she says, changed her life.

Having been on “every painkiller in the book” since 10, she is now off all painkillers. Instead she takes instead three drops of CBD oil three times a day.

“A friend who is suffering with cancer told me about it, saying it was good for pain. I had never taken an illegal substance in my life but I was at the stage where I would have eaten cement if I thought it would help.
Severe pain
“I was diagnosed around 1981 with an AVM [arterivenous malformation – an abnormal connection between arteries and veins causing intense pain] and an aneurysm in my brain. It manifest itself as very severe pain, like a needle being stabbed into my skull over and over again.”

For years, she had been getting about six three-day-long headaches a month, but since the summer she was getting them every day. Her life has been blighted by pain. Among the painkillers she has tried are Vicodin, DF118, Solpadeine, Morphine, Naproxen, Tramadol, Oxycontin, Zolmitriptan and Ibruprofen.

“When my friend told me about CBD oil I sent off to the same place she gets it, in the Netherlands. It’s very reasonably priced – €27.95 for a 10ml bottle.”

Frawley says she had no problem with customs and excise and the package – which usually contains five bottles and costs some €18 in postage – arrives at her house in Balbriggan, Co Dublin about 12 days after she orders.

“When I first got it I decided to go off all painkillers to give it a fair chance. The first time I took it I could actually feel the headache lessening immediately. I thought, ‘This is probably just a fluke’. But it works and I didn’t go back on the painkillers,” she says.

“It doesn’t get rid of the headache altogether and it takes an hour to work, but like with morphine, I can feel the pain lifting as soon as I take it, so I have a pain that is more like a ‘normal’ headache.”
Psychoactive ingredient
Frawley has been so impressed with CBD oil that she has read up on the medicinal use of cannabis and says though the oil is “very good”, it is “missing” the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which she says has a stronger pain-killing effect.

One cannabis-based medicine, Sativex, containing both CBD and THC, is licensed for use in the State, but only in very limited circumstances and only for multiple sclerosis.

“If I had a medicine with the THC as well I’d be on the pig’s back,” she says. “ I am horrified to know that there is a safe product out there that could turn my life around completely and my Government will not allow me to have it. If they suffered with this pain, or they had a child suffering with extreme pain or epileptic seizures they wouldn’t be slow about making it available.”

She has talked to her neurological consultant about medicinal cannabis to help manage her pain. “I wanted some advice but she absolutely refused to even discuss it with me. She wouldn’t even allow the word cannabis to be used,” she says.

Frawley says she has become so passionate about the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes, that she is using “all my pain-free hours spreading the knowledge to everyone out there who does not know about it, just like I didn’t”.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #91 on: December 02, 2016, 18:38:10 »
http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/articles/study-marijuana-can-help-battle-depression-anxiety-ptsd-and-addiction-w453012

Study: Marijuana Can Help Battle Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Addiction


By  Melaina Juntti
Credit: Getty Images

The most comprehensive research review ever done on the topic found that marijuana can help battle depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even addictions to alcohol and painkillers. Canadian psychologists pored over 60 published studies and articles, half of which examined the effects of medical marijuana, while the other half looked at recreational use. Because cannabis research is so young, pulling data from both types of studies provides the best confirmation yet that pot really can enhance — or even save — lives.

The researchers took up this review in order to give doctors solid evidence to inform their conversations with patients. “There is so little guidance in this area, which inspired us to do this work,” says lead study author Zach Walsh, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia. “I get so many calls from colleagues asking what to tell patients who use cannabis to help deal with an alcohol dependency or depression or a bad back.”

Of course, anecdotal evidence has long pointed to pot’s mental-health benefits. “In general, people who use cannabis say it helps them relax and reduces anxiety,” Walsh says. “And we know that many PTSD sufferers are using cannabis to treat their symptoms.” Now with more hard science backing its use for both anxiety and PTSD, he hopes doctors will talk more openly and realistically about marijuana with their patients. Just like any drug, it won’t work for everyone and can have side effects, but Walsh firmly believes it should be part of the conversation.

The evidence for clinical depression wasn’t quite as strong as for PTSD and anxiety, but it was solid enough to suggest marijuana may help. “Depression is often co-occurring with chronic pain or other health issues,” Walsh says. “Many say medical cannabis improves mood while also addressing primary symptoms.”

For those with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, however, weed is likely too risky. Walsh says it can exacerbate psychosis. “That said, many schizophrenics use cannabis — and it’s not because it makes them feel worse,” he adds. “But definitely use caution if you may have either of these conditions. A high-THC cannabis, especially, may increase mania.”

Multiple large studies showed that marijuana may be a godsend for people plagued by an opiate addiction. “It’s the substitution effect,” Walsh says. “When you replace a harmful drug with a less harmful drug, it’s a big benefit from a public health standpoint. In some states where medical marijuana is legal, there has been a 25 percent reduction in opioid overdoses.” Research also suggests weed may help alcoholics ween off booze.

Obviously, much of America faces one big roadblock to reaching for cannabis: the law. But as prohibition quickly crumbles away, more people are gaining access to marijuana and more doctors — and even some addiction professionals — are becoming comfortable with the drug. It’s also opening the door for research, which should further solidify cannabis’s medicinal value.

“I believe cannabis should be treated the same as other medicines,” says Walsh. “It should be held to the same standards and subject to the same risk-versus-benefit evaluations. We know that its negative effects are certainly tolerable compared to those of many medications we use, so let’s not leave behind all the people who aren’t finding relief in traditional therapies.”


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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #92 on: December 09, 2016, 19:05:09 »
My good friend Kevin telling it like it is!!

https://www.facebook.com/kevin.whitenect/videos/10153872834005194/

Brothers and Sisters,
A call to action.
"Click the link below to find your member of parliament using your postal code. Call, email, or write a letter to your Member of Parliament along with the Minister of Veterans Affairs directly (minster_ministre@vac-acc.gc.ca) to request that the new reimbursement policy for medical cannabis be lifted. I urge Minister Hehr to carry out his departments mandate of repaying the nation's debt of gratitude toward those whose courageous efforts have contributed to our growth as a nation."


http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/compilations/houseofcommons/memberbypostalcode.aspx?Menu=HOC

#itsourmedicine
#ottawarally
#medicalcannabis

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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #93 on: December 10, 2016, 18:23:45 »

http://www.attn.com/stories/13376/how-israel-and-us-compare-marijuana-research?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=direct-share&utm_campaign=shares

The Major Way Israel Is Putting America to Shame on Marijuana

Israel has long been at the forefront of marijuana research, and the country is budding into a hub for cannabis-related startup companies, Quartz reported.

weed-and-pink-background
Stocksy/Cameron Zegers - stocksy.com

Crowds from around the globe flocked to Tel Aviv in March for the second annual CannaTech conference. The summit was aimed at attracting fledgling marijuana ventures to the country and included speakers from medicine, politics, science, agriculture, and investments.

“Everything is set up here to be the epicenter of cannabis research,” organizer Clifton Flack told Quartz.
Why medical marijuana research is blossoming in Israel.

The Israeli government's stance on medical marijuana research and the country's cultural landscape make it far friendlier to marijuana than the puritanical policies of the U.S. government.

Israel, the Netherlands and Canada are countries with government-sponsored programs dedicated to cannabis medical research. "There is even a Medical Cannabis Unit within the Israeli Ministry of Health," Newsweek reported.

Israeli medical marijuana patients are granted access to greenery through government subsidies.
The majority of Israel's research institutions test cannabis, the Observer reported.
Marijuana is not legalized as a recreational drug in the country.
But the Health Ministry granted 23,000 individuals permits to obtain medication through nine suppliers, Reuters reported.

Growers in the country cultivate plants for research institutions to develop clinical trials to treat a wide range of physical and mental illnesses, from cancer and arthritis to PTSD, with the support of Orthodox Jewish Israeli Health Minister Yakov Litzman.

Medical marijuana is available in many forms, including cigarettes, baked goods, and even inhalers, and can be administered within a state medical facility or taken at home.

The Washington Post described an idyllic secluded greenhouse nestled in the mountains of Galilee, where lab techs tend to seeds to treat epileptic children.

Such initiatives are not only permitted by Israeli lawmakers, but also encouraged. Growers can develop marijuana-based treatments under Israeli Health Ministry cannabis unit senior medical adviser Michael Dor.
Meanwhile, over here ...

The DEA announced an August policy shift allowing growers to register to cultivate and distribute marijuana for research.

Previously, the agency only issued a license to cultivate marijuana plants for research to one institution: the University of Mississippi.

From Newsweek:

    "'Marijuana was an integral part of American medicine for more than 100 years, from the 1830s through the 1940s, and it was used safely and effectively for all of that time,' says Dr. Alan Shackelford, a Harvard-trained physician who prescribes medical marijuana in Colorado. But today, bipartisan legislation (the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act) meant to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug remains stalled in Congress, 'not for any scientific reason but pretty much out of ignorance of what is actually intended, which is to allow scientific inquiry and study,' Shackelford says."

More than half of U.S. states have now legalized medical marijuana as a result of this year's election.

Yet the U.S. government continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.

The country's review process creates substantial barriers, Fortune reported. NIDA is the only organization qualified to supply plants for studies, making the process significantly more costly and involved than it is Israel, according to the Observer.

"In the United States, it's easier to study heroin than marijuana," U.S. psychiatrist Suzanne Sisley told Reuters. "With marijuana you have to go through added layers of government red tape. It highlights the way marijuana research [is] shackled by politics,"
Israel has led the charge on marijuana research initiatives, but the country is not permitted to export cannabis under current law.

A number of U.S. firms are cashing in on the overseas market. From Reuters:

    "Since 2014, U.S. firms have invested about $50 million in licensing Israeli medical marijuana patents, cannabis agro-tech startups and firms developing delivery devices such as inhalers, said Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN, a private cannabis research hub."

Marijuana in Israel is ingrained in its history and culture.

It is viewed as a compassionate medical treatment rather than a taboo street drug.

Israeli researcher Rafael Mechoulam in 1994 was the first in his field to isolate THC, the psychoactive element of cannabis.

"I would add that the Jewish people also feel a responsibility to perform 'tikkun olam,' repairing the world and improving the human condition," Eliana Rudee wrote in the Observer. Rudee linked the nation's embrace of medical marijuana to its social and culture valuation of life, as characterized in the Talmud.

CannaTech CEO Saul Kaye linked innovation and survival with the cultural role of cannabis. “A brief look at the Jewish psyche… [reveals that] circumstance has forced us not only to survive, but to thrive,” he said at the March conference.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #94 on: December 30, 2016, 19:51:59 »
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1428198-update-veterans-say-mail-from-vac-outs-medical-marijuana-users#.WGb1JI_pTFY.facebook



UPDATE: Veterans say mail from VAC outs medical marijuana users


ANDREA GUNN | OTTAWA BUREAU
Published December 30, 2016 - 6:22pm
Last Updated December 30, 2016 - 8:32pm


This is one of the envelopes mailed out this week that has veterans accusing the government of a shocking breach of privacy. (Contributed)

Veterans across Canada are reporting a security breach involving mail sent out by Veterans Affairs Canada that lets anyone looking at the outside of the envelope know it was issued under the federal medical marijuana program.

Veteran Jason Hemsworth received a piece of mail with information regarding his medical marijuana prescription, which is covered through Medavie-Blue Cross. Under the little plastic window displaying his address, it reads “Re: Cannabis for Medical Purposes,” for anyone to see.

The letter inside is marked “Protected — Personal Information.”

Hemsworth said he called VAC right away. After being passed back and forth between VAC and Blue Cross, Hemsworth said he spoke with a supervisor who confirmed the letter should have been sent in a windowless envelope.

The former Haligonian said 3,000 similar letters were issued.

“Having my address as well as my personal medical information put out there by those that are supposed to keep it safe is a grave violation, as well as a security risk for not only myself and my family, but for the other 3,000 veterans that received this letter,” Hemsworth said.

A photo posted on a Facebook group for Canadian veterans attracted comments from dozens of others who received similar letters.

One woman posted that she feared for her safety as she and her husband use a community mailbox, and there had been frequent burglaries in her area recently.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr’s office responded Friday evening.

“We take the privacy of veterans very seriously and have asked the department to review this situation with Medavie-Blue Cross.”

Hemsworth said in and email that VAC staff did reply to him but that he didn’t get any sense of urgency.

“They will wait until they get the report next week and review it.”

He said VAC’s position is that the mailout was handled by Canada Post, whose employees are bound to maintain confidentiality “so all is good according to them.”
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #95 on: January 03, 2017, 23:57:59 »
Looming federal marijuana allotment may hurt veterans

http://www.macleans.ca/news/looming-federal-marijuana-allotment-may-hurt-veterans/

Looming federal marijuana allotment may hurt veterans.

Report says 74 per cent of veterans whose medical pot is covered by Ottawa consume more than what will soon allowed

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
January 3, 2017
Pawel Dwulit/CP

OTTAWA – Almost three-quarters of veterans using medical marijuana will feel the impact this spring when the federal government imposes a new limit on the amount of weed for which it will pay.

A new report says 74 per cent of veterans whose medical pot is covered by the government consume more than three grams per day — which will put them over the three-gram daily maximum the government is poised to impose starting in May.
The report says one in three uses 10 grams — the current maximum daily allotment.
The figures are contained in an internal Veterans Affairs Canada audit that raises broad questions about the use of pot by veterans, including claims that it reduces the use of painkillers and other addictive drugs.
The government has pointed to skyrocketing costs and a lack of scientific evidence about the drug’s medical benefits in defending its decision to scale back the amount it will cover, which the audit suggests will affect hundreds of veterans.
But critics have questioned how the government decided on three grams per day and they’ve raised concerns about the impact on veterans who require more than three grams to deal with physical or mental injuries.
Veterans Affairs has paid for medical marijuana for veterans since 2008, following a court decision requiring reasonable access when authorized by a health-care practitioner.
The number of clients – and the associated cost – has exploded since 2014, when regulatory changes at Health Canada and a new Veterans Affairs policy allowed up to 10 grams per veteran per day.
According to the audit, more than 1,700 injured ex-soldiers were being reimbursed for medical marijuana as of the end of last March. Just 26 per cent were getting three grams or less each day.
The auditors did not say why such large amounts of marijuana were being authorized, but they did find that hundreds of veterans had started with between eight and 10 grams per day right off the bat.
Interviews with frontline staff, meanwhile, found veterans taking one to two grams per day, “at appropriate times, are managing well.”
The question of how much medical marijuana is enough has been hotly debated since November, when Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said he was scaling back the maximum limit.
The move came amid revelations that the cost of medical marijuana for vets had grown from $408,000 in 2013-14 to more than $20 million last year, and after auditor general Michael Ferguson flagged the program as being out of control.
Hehr’s spokeswoman defended the change Tuesday, saying in an email that the three-gram allotment was established after wide consultations and a review of existing research.
“We developed a policy that balances the anecdotal experience of the beneficiary and the medical community’s opinion on the risks of use of cannabis for yet unscientifically proven treatment regimes,” Sarah McMaster said.
“This policy has the health and well-being of veterans and their families at its heart.”
Anyone requiring more than three grams can submit an application to the department along with a note from a medical specialist.
Still, Conservative veterans affairs critic John Brassard said the audit shows just how far-reaching the new policy will be on those veterans who use medical pot, and why more research is needed before reducing the maximum allotment.
“The change to this policy has potentially serious implications,” he said. “It can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.”
NDP veterans affairs critic Irene Mathyssen said she has heard personally from veterans and their families, who have seen the benefits of medical marijuana and worry about the new policy.
“It should be on a case-by-case basis,” she said.
Part of the challenge has been the widespread anecdotal evidence from veterans about the benefits of medical weed versus the lack of scientific proof, particularly when it comes to mental injuries like PTSD.
Yet the report does appear to undercut one of the main arguments put forward by those pushing for access to medical marijuana, namely that it reduces the use of painkillers and other drugs among veterans.
The auditors found a negligible change in the use of prescription drugs, including narcotics and opiates, by injured ex-soldiers who started receiving medical marijuana.
The report also found that more than 200 veterans had received authorization for medical marijuana from a doctor or nurse who was outside their home province.
One possible explanation was that the veteran worked in a different province than they lived, the report said, though it was also possible their regular doctor would not approve them getting pot.
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Re: Medical Cannabis for Canadian Veterans
« Reply #96 on: May 20, 2017, 04:32:07 »
A bit of the latest ...

"Status Update on Cannabis for Medical Purposes - Six month transition period ends on May 21, 2017"
VAC info-machine, 15 May 2017

Veterans Affairs Canada’s policy on cannabis for medical purposes has the health and well-being of Veterans and their families at its heart. That is why the Department supports Veterans who say that cannabis for medical purposes relieve symptoms associated with a variety of illnesses and conditions which have not responded to conventional medical treatments.

On November 22, 2016, Veterans Affairs Canada announced a new reimbursement policy on cannabis for medical purposes. The policy established a reimbursement limit of up to three grams per day of dried marijuana. It also added access to fresh marijuana and cannabis oil for the first time ever.

A six month transition period was implemented for Veterans being reimbursed for more than three grams per day. The transition period ends May 21, and effective May 22, 2017, the maximum reimbursement will be three grams per day. There is a process for exceptional circumstances whereby a Veteran can seek reimbursement for more than three grams per day. To apply, Veterans need to obtain a rationale from a medical specialist related to their condition.

Eligible Veterans diagnosed with ALS do not require anything more than their physician's validation of such a diagnosis.

We have heard Veterans concerns regarding the need for specialists’ authorizations. As a result, we are amending the guidelines for Veterans diagnosed with both chronic pain and a psychiatric condition. Previously, medical specialists for each condition would have to approve an exceptional request for reimbursement for more than three grams of cannabis. As of today, only one specialist's approval is required.

Since announcing changes to the reimbursement policy for cannabis for medical purposes last year, Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence (DND) have been reviewing existing research on the use cannabis for medical purposes. Recognizing that this is still an emerging practice and field of study, the Department wants to ensure that the specific direction of its research initiative undertaken with DND will have the greatest impact on strengthening evidence on the effects of marijuana on the health of Veterans.

Veterans Affairs Canada will continue to monitor information as it becomes available and adjust the policy, as and when necessary as part of our ongoing commitment. In addition, the Department will continue to consult with health and research professionals, Veteran beneficiaries and licensed producers to discuss ways of improving the functionality of the reimbursement policy and processes.

Quick Facts

    Veterans Affairs Canada continues to be the only government reimburser of cannabis for medical purposes in North America.
    Since January 2017, more than 4,000 claims have been submitted for cannabis for medical purposes and 91 percent of those requests were approved. Some reasons why requests for three grams or less would be declined include: lack of documentation from a physician or no established link to an awarded condition.
    Since January 2017, the Department has received fewer than 100 requests for exceptional approval and of those processed to date, approximately 33% have been approved. Some of the most common reasons Veterans’ requests for exceptional approval would be declined include: lack of documentation from a specialist or insufficient rationale for why the Veteran needs more than three grams per day.
    Veterans being reimbursed for cannabis for medical purposes may be reimbursed for travel expenses to see a specialist.
    Ongoing support will be provided to Veterans and their families through operational stress injury clinics, multidisciplinary treatment centres, Military Family Resource Centres, case management services, VAC Assistance Services and online/mobile apps.
    The reimbursement policy allows every eligible recipient seeking reimbursement for three grams to receive up to $9,300 dollars per year.


"Veteran Affairs aims to rein in costs as marijuana reimbursement bill balloons to $63.7 million"
Sunny Freeman, Financial Post, May 16, 2017

Veterans Affairs paid out $44.5 million for medical marijuana expenses in the year before the government cracked down on soaring reimbursement costs — more than three times what it covered in the prior two years combined.

The department covered 3.7 million grams of marijuana at an average cost of $12.01 per gram from October 2015 to September 2016 — 30 per cent higher than what it considers market value.

The cost breakdown was included in documents released under an access to information request ahead of a Veterans Affairs policy change this month that will significantly reduce the amount of medical marijuana eligible for reimbursement.

The move is part of an effort to curtail government spending on skyrocketing medical marijuana costs as the number of ex-soldiers claiming medical marijuana expenses rises rapidly ...

More @ link

"Cuts to medical marijuana coverage 'makes me sick,' says P.E.I. veteran"
Dennis MacKenzie among more than 100 protesters on Parliament Hill on Thursday
CBC.ca, 18 May 2017

Dennis MacKenzie says the federal government's decision to reduce medicinal marijuana coverage for veterans takes away their "right to health."

The Charlottetown veteran and about a dozen other Islanders were among more than 100 people on Parliament Hill Thursday for the Marijuana for Trauma protest.

"I was very proud to be where I was, but disgusted to be fighting," MacKenzie said on CBC's Mainstreet P.E.I.

New rules set by Ottawa will reduce the daily amount eligible for coverage from 10 grams to three. The rules came into effect in November, but will apply to everyone who already had a prescription as of May 22.
Marijuana protest

"Cutting our medicine is putting us back at risk," said MacKenzie, who served in Afghanistan ...
More @ link

“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

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Tony Prudori
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