Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

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Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by Trooper on Sat 07 May 2016, 13:25

Although the government collects a huge amount of data on its programs and on Canadian citizens, the auditor general says his office has found many examples of poor recordkeeping that affect how the government makes decisions.

“One of the themes that ties a number of our audits together is that the data collected by many government organizations is either not usable, not used or not acted upon,” Ferguson said.

That’s potentially bad news for a government that campaigned on data-based decision-making: the data it uses could be flawed, and many departments aren’t using it much anyway.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, which manages the government’s Open Data program and information technology, did not return a request for comment by deadline.

Not used or not acted upon

Ferguson’s office also noticed that almost half of veterans who had been prescribed anti-depressants had also been given prescriptions for medical marijuana – something that Health Canada recommends against.

http://globalnews.ca/news/2685827/government-data-not-usable-not-used-or-not-acted-upon-auditor-general/
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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by 6608 on Sat 07 May 2016, 14:53

Editorial: Vets' pot use problems suggest legalization challenges ahead

The number of former soldiers using medicinal marijuana has skyrocketed. Veterans Affairs Canada hasn’t figured out how much it’s willing to pay for medical pot, and it isn’t doing a good job of monitoring its use. This hazy thinking earned a rebuke this week from Auditor General Michael Ferguson.

For a government committed both to bettering the lives of veterans, and loosening drug laws, Ferguson’s report was embarrassing, even if some blame belongs to the last government. But Justin Trudeau has promised a bill to legalize marijuana within the year for all adults – not just those who want it for medical reasons – and he is determined to do better for former military members than did the Stephen Harper Conservatives. So how will the Liberals proceed?

A cautious Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr responded with a dodge: “We’re taking the time to get this right. We want to consult with our stakeholders. We’ll have medical experts in the emerging field of marijuana for medical purposes and get this right.” He promised a “policy directive” at some future date.

Granted, the file is complex. For example, the auditor found that the government is paying for 10 grams of marijuana a day for some vets, who’re using it to treat chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s a lot of daily pot: double the amount declared acceptable by Health Canada.

Meanwhile, the costs to VAC have increased: from $5 a gram to between $6 and $14 a gram. The number of veterans using weed is growing too: In 2013, only 112 used medical marijuana, but following a change in Health Canada regulations to simplify access, the figures have jumped – from 628 in 2014-15 to 1,320 for the period between April 2015 and December, 2015. Coverage costs average $9,200 a person.

If nothing is done, for the 2016-17 fiscal year this could add up to $25 million, accounting for fully one-third of drug costs under the department’s Health Care Benefits Program.

It’s a remarkable muddle, given that many physicians don’t approve of medicinal marijuana to start with. They worry the sorts of drug testing and approvals done for other substances haven’t been carried out with the same rigour for pot.

This does not mean veterans should not get marijuana; most Canadians would approve of anything that helped alleviate the burden of physical pain or mental distress for those who have defended the country. Indeed, veterans are a defined group of Canadians whose drug use could be studied methodically to the benefit of all, particular in the treatment of PTSD.

But for now, Veterans Affairs needs to get its act together quickly and figure out why so many clients are using so much marijuana at such a high cost. If marijuana programs can’t be managed well for a relatively small number, there are bigger questions to be asked about how the federal government will manage pot legalization when things move beyond the medical realm.

The government has not given itself much time for clear-headed thinking.

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-vets-pot-use-problems-suggest-legalization-challenges-ahead



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Cannabis and Depression

Post by Dove96 on Sat 07 May 2016, 17:10

[quote="Trooper"]
Ferguson’s office also noticed that almost half of veterans who had been prescribed anti-depressants had also been given prescriptions for medical marijuana – something that Health Canada recommends against.[quote="Trooper"]

There are studies that determine certain strains and dosages have a detrimental effect on people with depression (I am diagnosed with depression).
It is a balancing act. Sativa causes stress in some people. I stated in a previous post I cannot go more than 25% before I get jittery/stressed, on the other hand I need a percentage to stay alert.

This site has some info on the effects of Strains. You can plug in the strain and it gives you a chart with feedback statistics.
https://www.leafly.com/explore


Last edited by Dove96 on Sat 07 May 2016, 17:13; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : changed title)

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What is the right dosage of Cannabis

Post by Dove96 on Sat 07 May 2016, 17:37

Here are a couple of references on the dosages:

First is from Cannimed, it cites many studies done around the world suggesting "Several surveys have shown that the average dose of medical marijuana is 1 to 3 g/day when smoked or vaporized." - http://www.cannimed.ca/pages/suggested-dosing

Next is our own Health Canada which says "Information obtained from a limited number of small and short-term clinical studies of cannabis for medical purposes indicate the daily doses of smoked or vapourized dried cannabis ranged from as little as 75 mg of dried cannabis ... to a maximum of 3.2 grams of dried cannabis"
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/med/daily-quotidienne-eng.php


Last edited by Dove96 on Sat 07 May 2016, 17:39; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding a title)

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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by Trooper on Sat 07 May 2016, 18:18

Dove I think they were talking about some Veterans being prescribed both medical marijuana and anti-depressants , taking both which I agree is not a good combination.

I'm with you and most others who posted they would rather go the more natural route then use pharmaceutical drugs.

In fact I am a herb freak , been using herbs and studying them for years.

Your also correct in saying they should look at the cost of the side effects from using  pharmaceutical drugs  against the cost of medical marijuana.

Sounds like you have studied your own use of medical cannabis well , you know your strains and your dosage and how to prepare.
This to me is key.

The way I see it , if the person feels medical cannabis  it's working for them , use it cause those pharmaceutical drugs can really screw you up and add to the condition or conditions you already have.

I have not had to go through the medical cannabis route as I have found my answers and help through herbs and supplements.
The cost out of my own pocket is quite high , but to me you cannot put a price on ones life.

Getting back to my first para I get asked all the time , what herb , vitamin , or supplement is good for this ?
The first question I ask is are you taken any prescribed medication ?
If the answer is yes , I don't get involved as said by health Canada , mixing of the two can be a very bad thing.

This is an excellent topic and I hope it continues cause I'd rather see Veterans on medical cannabis then pharmaceutical drugs.
And not to discount the fact that DVA pays for it.

Lots of good info is coming from this topic.
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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by 6608 on Sun 08 May 2016, 00:16

Here is some interesting reading..............

VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM

Briefing notes to the deputy minister and Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino about the department's program that provides benefits to veterans who use marijuana for medical purposes. Documents released to the Ottawa Citizen under access to information laws.


http://docslide.us/documents/veterans-affairs-medical-marijuana-program.html



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VAC limits on Cannabis 2014

Post by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 08:47

Summary: the information sent to the Deputy Minister VAC 23 April 2014 recommended:
1. limiting to 5g/day based on the legal possession limit (for new applicants) and
2. limiting the cost to $9 per gram.

What happened?


Last edited by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 08:51; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Making it more legible a couple of times)

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Health Canada New Dosing Regulations April 2016

Post by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 10:00

Sigh. Health Canada changed the 5 gram reference as we were discussing it (last week). As of April 2016 the link below is the new company line.
The old reference stating the 5 gram daily dosage limit is now removed along with the health problems listed with using more than 5 grams daily.

"There are no precise doses or established uniform dosing schedules for fresh marijuana, smoked/vapourized marijuana, or cannabis oil."
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/med/daily-quotidienne-eng.php

The good thing about the last link is that if you slog through the science it does give you information on the how long it takes to react and the duration times for each method of intake. It is worth a read if you are considering this as a method of medicating.


Last edited by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 10:01; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Add title)

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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by bigrex on Sun 08 May 2016, 10:13

Well, obviously the doctor who has prescribed 10mg/day knows their patient a lot more than some bureaucrat in Ottawa. They have no issue with me taking large doses of Dilaudid on a daily basis. And they said that the average is 2-3mg. That does not mean that there cannot be a small number of larger doses, as they would not affect the overall average that much.
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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 12:11

Big Rex. Exactly.
Of course my doctor made me sign a form saying that he is in no way or in any way responsible for my use/misuse of the medication.

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Marijuana and Veterans - Minister Hehr on Power and Politics | May 3rd 2016

Post by Trooper on Sun 08 May 2016, 14:55


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snBl1snrS80
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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 19:55

Trooper: Wow is she ever in your face. Not a fan.

As for how long to come up with a plan? ....  I appreciate it will take time, interviews and ugh, a committee? to come up with a plan...wait a minute didn't we see some really good, well researched briefing notes in a link in a previous post?  scratch


Last edited by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 19:57; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : missed a word)

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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 20:18

Hehr states at one point that there are 1,700 Veterans on "the program" costing roughly $20,000,000 dollars. Whoa if my math is right thats is more than $11,000 per person.

Yes I went back and watched it again - that is what he said.

PS Yow Yes my math sucks today. Embarassed


Last edited by Dove96 on Sun 08 May 2016, 20:30; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : corrected error)

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Re: Government data ‘not usable, not used or not acted upon’: auditor general

Post by RCN-Retired on Sun 08 May 2016, 20:23

Almost $12,000/vet


Last edited by RCN-Retired on Sun 08 May 2016, 20:23; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot a zero)
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Kent Hehr Facebook Extracts Question

Post by Trooper on Sun 08 May 2016, 20:52

Mr Hehr, a veteran here, just wondering why you will not cover extracts. A non smoker and have three kids. I've saved your government by coming off meds and using marijuana but I'm a non smoker. Now I have to cut back because if I smoke too much it makes my lungs really heavy( even with vaping). So what now? Go back to the meds that I was on? Which by the way also caused me to put on weight. I've lost 20lbs alone from coming off lithium. I feel good and more productive instead of a zombie when I was on the other meds( which I could give you a list right now that shows you how much I've saved you.) I'm assuming now I won't get a response as I've tried contacting you in many different ways. Thank you for your time, from a veteran that supported your party during the election.

Thank you for your service to our country. I would think your questions would be better answered by a doctor.

Already asked and I'm going to pay for my own extracts. Just find it confusing why dried marijuana is cover but not alternatives. I think it's no different then other meds.

I already asked him this question. By phone. Same usual dumb response. " never heard of that before" I pitched the fact I would rather not smoke. Many reasons why. My provider was giving me oil which took all the guess work out. I don't have time and patience to prep when I need it. Finally found what worked great. Now I been cut off. Not from provider but Vac itself. Now I'm let spending out of pocket for medicine. Your question is perfect. Why approve grass only but not oil??? Really? Just dose not make sense.

Same here brother.

https://www.facebook.com/kenthehrj/timeline

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