Canadian Soldiers Assistance Team (CSAT) Forum


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Post by bigrex on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 09:31

That is why I am finally going this route. I'm supposed to take the dilaudid twice a day, but that leaves me in a haze. So in order to not get addicted, I only take them when I need to. But when I want to go out somewhere, say to a sporting event, I can't take the pills beforehand, because I would be too high to enjoy myself. And If I don't take any meds, I'm usually in too much pain to enjoy myself either. So for the most part, I just stay at home, and avoid living my life. So if MM can help me start living again, without turning me into a zombie, then I have to at least try.

Nav, I thought the vape things used oils. Do they also work with the dried stuff?
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Post by Ex Member on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 09:12

Use a vape, cleaner and Big Rex after a couple of weeks throw those pills out! They just damage the body and mind!

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Post by bigrex on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 09:08

I have taken the first step to get my prescription, and it even baffles my doctor that VAC will only pay for the dried form. I would have rather used a pill or a spray, similar to the type they use for Asthma. I don't even smoke cigarettes, so I'm not really looking forward to smoking joints, just to keep my pain in check.
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Pot pancakes, coffee and candies are just some of what could be on the menu if edibles become legal

Post by Guest on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 05:49

Cannabis food products aren't for sale yet, but entrepreneurs already preparing for legalization of edibles

Chef Cody Lindsay whips pancake batter while an intrigued crowd watches. He adds whole wheat flour and oats to give the mixture a healthy boost.

"It's just small improvements to your diet that will help you feel better," he tells the audience at a recent cooking demonstration in Toronto.

Then comes the final ingredient — one not typically found in pancakes — a few doses of cannabis oil.

"Now, we know that each pancake is going to have a least one millilitre of THC," Lindsay says.

Canada doesn't allow the sale of marijuana food products, even for medical use, but individuals who have a prescription for medical marijuana can cook with cannabis at home. And some businesses hope the day will come when they can tap into the lucrative pot edibles market.

Lindsay, a 32-year-old Canadian war veteran, uses medical marijuana to treat anxiety he developed during a rough tour in Afghanistan.

Also a trained chef, he says he wants to help other medical marijuana users, especially fellow veterans, cook with cannabis in nutritional ways.

"To go one step further and incorporate it into their diet within healthy foods, it's just an added bonus," said Lindsay. "You know, cannabis and salad do mix."

He would like to sell some of his cannabis creations, perhaps even open a marijuana-themed restaurant. But for now, Lindsay sticks to selling his new cannabis cookbook, which features healthy recipes for everything from salad dressings to smoothies to risotto.

No edible sales — for now

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that medical marijuana users were not limited to smoking the dried plant and could consume pot.

In response, Health Canada allowed licensed medical marijuana companies to produce and sell cannabis oil for medical use.

Some companies expect that in time, they will be allowed to sell cannabis food items as well.

Already, Victoria city council is exploring a medical marijuana business bylaw that would permit the sale of edible pot products.

The expected legalization of marijuana in Canada next year could also expand the edibles market to recreational users.

Federal marijuana legislation to be introduced in spring 2017, Philpott says
Victoria drafting bylaw to allow edible pot products
Canadian company's marijuana-infused coffee pods ready for brewing
In U.S. states like Colorado, where marijuana is legal, the edibles business is booming.

Lindsay says eating cannabis is preferable to inhaling it for non-smokers and those craving a more steady high.

"You can feel it throughout your system, but it's not giving you a heavy head high, where in 45 minutes, you'll feel burned out," he said.

If the edibles market opens up in Canada, Lindsay plans to keep his business small, but others have big ambitions.

Licensed medical cannabis producer CannTrust in Vaughan, Ont., has already applied for approval to make pot-infused single-serve coffee pods.

Tweed's sweet ambitions

Another licensed medical marijuana producer, Tweed, has its sights set on candy.

"It's certainly an exciting opportunity," said company president Mark Zekulin.

Tweed, which manufactures dried cannabis and oils, has set up shop in the vacated Hershey's chocolate factory in Smith Falls, Ont.

The space is perfect for manufacturing a line of pot-infused chocolates, said Zekulin.

"A lot of the equipment is, in fact, still here," he said.

Zekulin suggests Tweed could consider pot-infused drinks as well.

"As you look ahead to a non-medical market, you could see it sitting beside alcohol in the [liquour store]," he said.

But for now, Zekulin must settle for selling just the cannabis oil and letting customers do the baking themselves — although his company does sell muffin and cupcake mixes.

There are two varieties: gluten-free vanilla and chocolate, and Tweed also has plans for a granola bar mix.

"We tried to pick easy recipes that call for 100 millilitres of oil. If you make 25 mini cupcakes, you can roughly figure out the dose that you have," explains Zekulin.

Plenty to chew on

Dosing is one of the big concerns with the edibles market. In some U.S. states where pot is legal, there have been reports of increased visits to hospitals because of inexperienced users ingesting too much of the drug — often in the form of tasty treats.

Another concern is that the treats will attract children.

Health Canada told CBC News it currently doesn't allow the sale of medical cannabis in food because edible products, brownies and candy in particular, can appeal to young people.

In Colorado, concerns have led to new rules for edibles, including child-proof packaging and improved labels that list ingredients and dosing information.

Zekulin believes the controversy surrounding pot-infused products means Health Canada will proceed cautiously.

"They're open to exploring more, but they really need to understand the data, the risks, how it would work," he said.

Getting a head start

Canadian company Nutritional High isn't waiting around for a green light.

It plans to soon start manufacturing cannabis-infused hard candies, gummies and chocolates — in Colorado.

The Toronto-based business is currently building a 11,000-square-foot factory in the state that will churn out the treats with small, controlled doses of pot, says CEO David Posner.

"We only went to the States because it wasn't legal to do it here," he said.

"We wanted to at least get a jump start on what we think is going to be the most profitable and interesting part of the whole industry."

But for now, that part of the industry is relegated to cannabis oil and cookbooks in Canada.

That's fine for chef Lindsay. His main mission is to educate patients how to make their own meals.

At his cooking demo, he's now moved on to a chicken pesto sandwich, topped off with cannabis oil.

"If you're going to be taking cannabis in a non-smokable form, eating it is the next best way to go," he tells his audience.

And in Canada, the best way to do that for now is to cook with it yourself.


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'I would rather use my vaporizer'

Post by Guest on Tue 31 May 2016, 10:36

Medical pot users say clinical proof could help fight stigma.

Some say pot helps treat everything from PTSD to multiple sclerosis, HIV-AIDS and even cancer.

While moving to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, Toronto Public Health acknowledges that there may be therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis, such as help with pain relief, nausea and inflammation.

That acknowledgement comes in a report considered and endorsed by the Toronto Board of Health on Monday, which calls on the federal government to use a public health approach to regulating the drug.

The claims around what marijuana can specifically treat, and even cure are broad, ranging from anxiety to PTSD to Multiple Sclerosis, HIV-AIDS, glaucoma, even cancer. Still, the problem when it comes to how it's being used and accessed, say researchers and medical marijuana producers, is a relatively low volume of definitive clinical research.

Terry Remaine uses cannabis to relieve muscle spasms caused by Multiple Sclerosis instead of the pharmaceuticals. But she got the same excuse when she first tried to get a prescription for marijuana.

"I'm seen by an M.S. clinic, but they will not prescribe [pot] because they say it hasn't been clinically trialed," she says. "They can give me medication, but I would rather use my [marijuana] vaporizer. The medication makes me drowsy."

Riley McGee, a former soldier living in Edmonton, served in Afghanistan and uses marijuana to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He's with Marijuana For Trauma Inc., a company that seeks to provide veterans with access to medical marijuana.

"What it really helps me with is it levels my mood and it helps me focus, with PTSD can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. You can get angry or agitated quickly," he says.

He says more scientific studies on the effectiveness of cannabis could counter value judgements, biases and stigma.

However, giving pot to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder directly contradicts the military's stance on the issue. The Canadian Forces has said there's not enough proof to authorize marijuana as a treatment for PTSD and that some evidence suggests it could be harmful.

And the Canadian Medical Association has not endorsed the prescribing of medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes due to lack of evidence related to the drug's efficacy, harms, and mechanism of action.

While there is anecdotal evidence cannabis can be effective for chronic pain management, there are very few large long-term studies to back up claims, say researchers.

'Green rush'

"Humans have never had a panacea in terms of something that will cure such a wide range of conditions as has been claimed," says M-J Milloy, an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, who researches how Canadians are using cannabis as medicine.

But he says there are a number of promising small studies that show that marijuana could be a substitute for opioids, treat cancer, even shrink inflammation caused by HIV-AIDS and a broad range of other conditions.

"What we need now is human studies to really determine the effectiveness of cannabis for these conditions," he says.

In the midst of a "green rush" as investors look to get into the marijuana industry — medical and otherwise — some say a portion of the money rolling in should be earmarked for research.

"Some of the funding should definitely come from industry and we are seeing that, along with government," says Pradyum Sekar, co-founder of Lift Resource Centre, which organizes the Cannabis Expo, a national marijuana industry trade show.

"But interested parties that would want to see cannabis having more clinical-based evidence should put more effort and resources into it."

Tweed Marijuana Inc. is one of the big players in medical marijuana production. The Smith Falls, Ont., operation is one of the first licensed marijuana companies in Canada to go public.

Company president Mark Zekulin says they are committed to taking on a leadership role when it comes to research.

"This product has been prohibited for so long that there just hasn't been the basic research that we would all like, so we are funding clinical trials. We are funding research partnerships with universities."

He says the medical community is more used to dealing with big pharmaceutical companies.

"They are used to seeing a certain thing which is pharmaceutical pills. And this is different. And there is some evidence, but they want to see more. And it's incumbent on us to build that."

While he admits that soon people won't need a medical reason or a prescription to acquire cannabis, even with full legalization around the bend, he says scientific evidence could dispel some of the ongoing skepticism people who use cannabis as medicine routinely face.


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Post by bigrex on Wed 25 May 2016, 20:11

Honestly, it does not surprise me. The two most widely known uses of MM by Veterans and the general public, is to treat chronic pain and psychological illnesses such as PTSD and depression. So that one drug, can replace so many other medications, that have been previously paid for, but in much smaller numbers. How many different pain meds are out there, or anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-nauseates (to treat the side effects of the other medications), that can all be replaced by MM? But that being said, it's not a miracle drug! It won't work for everyone, or every illness! But if the GoC can get over their own self imposed stigma, and offer Veterans different options, other than smoking, then why not let as many veterans as possible, and their doctors, choose what treatment method works best for them?
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VAC drug costs for Mary Jane!

Post by Guest on Wed 25 May 2016, 19:21

Just watching CTV news and across the bottom of the screen flashed Marijuana accounts for 22 percent of veterans affairs drug costs! What does this mean? Might mean some caps on amount prescribed who knows but to me it seems maybe they want to justify cutting marijuana costs?


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Post by peep on Wed 25 May 2016, 17:08

Just goes to show how little meds are covered. It's 5% of my prescriptions
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Post by 6608 on Wed 25 May 2016, 16:05

Cannabis makes up 22% of veteran drug payments

More than one-fifth of the money paid to veterans by the federal government for prescribed drugs now goes toward medical cannabis. That's up from 0.5 per cent in 2013-14.

The data, obtained by CBC News through an Access to Information request, shows the effect medical marijuana payments are having on the drug reimbursement budget of Veterans Affairs Canada.

In 2015-16, veterans were reimbursed $91,557,485 for all prescribed drugs. Of that, $20,538,153 went toward medical marijuana.

Marijuana payments to veterans have increased more than 50-fold in the past two years.

The number of veterans being reimbursed for drugs has dropped every year for the past decade, but last year the total drug budget at Veterans Affairs increased for the first time in nine years.

Earlier this month, Canada's Auditor General Michael Ferguson urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to get a handle on its drugs benefit program, including the amount of medical pot being prescribed to veterans, which it found is "poorly documented" and not always based on evidence.

"I believe that government departments and organizations urgently need to turn their attention to this issue. They need to focus on collecting the right data to support their activities," Ferguson said on May 3.

The records from Veterans Affairs show between 2005-06 and 2014-15, the average annual drug reimbursement for a veteran claiming for drugs stayed relatively steady, ranging from $1,488 to $1,608 per veteran.

However, in 2015-16  — when marijuana payments became more significant — that average reimbursement figure jumped to $1,902.

In 2014, the department limited to 10 grams per day the amount of medical marijuana it would cover for eligible veterans, but the auditor general's office could not find any evidence to support this decision.

In April, Health Canada published updated guidelines on cannabis dosage. The document quotes various studies, which suggest smoking or ingesting no more than 3.2 grams per day.

Veterans Affairs Minster Kent Hehr launched a review in March of the process by which veterans are reimbursed for medical cannabis.

One veteran

The data from Veterans Affairs also shows that the number of veterans being reimbursed for medical marijuana has risen from 112 to 1,762 in the past two years; a more than 15-fold increase.

Of the 1,762 veterans, only one was reimbursed for marijuana alone.

The other 1,761 were reimbursed for marijuana and at least one other prescribed drug.

Kyle Atkinson is president of Trauma Healing Centers — a company that helps veterans file reimbursement claims for medicinal marijuana.

He suspects some of the veterans using cannabis may have stopped using other prescription drugs, but he says they can still claim for over-the-counter medications related to their pensionable condition.

"A lot of the veterans that are on these medications for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and chronic pain and other conditions, the veterans are coming off of a lot of medications as well," said Atkinson.

"Medical marijuana is not inexpensive, I will certainly say that. It's one of the more expensive medications out there."

Veterans Affairs Canada told CBC News that over-the-counter medications are eligible for reimbursement, but only if they are prescribed by a physician.

Atkinson insists the benefits of increased spending on medical marijuana can't be easily measured.

"When you add the increase in quality of life, it's really hard to measure and put a dollar amount on," said Atkinson.

"The cost benefit analysis that's done there is in favour of the veteran that's on cannabis."

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Clayton Goodwin Speaks About Canadian Veterans and Marijuana

Post by Guest on Mon 23 May 2016, 15:38

Over the past three years from 2013 to 2016 marijuana prescriptions given to veterans has increased from slightly over a hundred to over a thousand.

Clayton Goodwin gave a speech from the steps of Parliament Hill on April 20th on behalf of Canadian Veterans this 2016 to an escalating audience of thousands of marijuana users during a warm sunny afternoon. The crowd grew to over 9,000 marijuana users engaging in the annual 4/20 civil disobedience, now a global event.

“Well hello everyone, this is the second year that Veterans have been involved in this event and I’d like to shout out to David George for inviting me here to speak. First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who has attended because the movement for marijuana and this holistic medicine, could not go forward without your presence here today.

“Veterans have come a little late to this party. It’s only been in recent years that we’ve been using this holistic plant for medical purposes but you know I think we’re here at the right time. We’ve got a commitment from the government to legalize by next spring. (crowd cheers)

“Hopefully this will happen because in my perspective as a veteran who can now state with less prosecution that I use medical marijuana, that Veterans Affairs Canada covers my medical marijuana and if they have proven that medical marijuana is good for veterans then have you not started the argument for legalization? Are you going to turn to your veterans that defended a nation so that we can have a gathering like this and state we are not going to give you access to medical marijuana? Well if you do this, are you not turning around and saying that, perhaps in a system that we set up, if we over regulate – that we’ll actually disenfranchise those of us who do not have the economy to purchase this plant?

“We need a ‘Right to Grow’ program and it needs to include all Canadians. (Cheering). We need plants not profits. We need weed not greed. (Cheering applause)

“In a system of freedom and human rights, if you are giving access to a holistic plant for medical purposes then clearly something is wrong in the argument if you are standing behind heavy regulation for legalization. So I would like to challenge this new government, who said that they actually do evidence based and fact research, to actually get their hats on and start thinking and actually give us an inclusive regulation for every Canadian.

“I’m going by the hip here, I figured if all of you could come out here from your own homes on your own persuasion that I didn’t need to actually sit up here and give a speech but the fact that you are here shows that this movement is moving. Now we have to engage our government as individuals and organizations and we have to come out and vote when they are not doing what we want them to do and it does not matter the government.

“We need to include those that are on ODSP, welfare, those that are low income, those that might not be able to grow themselves, We need community gardens. We do not need corporations. We need a full inclusive model that will take care of everyone. There are baby boomer generation veterans that do not have coverage by Veterans Affairs Canada. There are myriad others in our nation that do not have coverage or access to this medicine.

“I would never have been able to stand here six years ago. I’ve been using medical marijuana since 2008 in large quantities. I have gotten it in every way possible until Veterans Affairs came forward and I found a responsible doctor to give me a prescription. Access to doctors and access to medical marijuana does not exist to the 100%. We need it for everyone. We shouldn’t have to pay doctors to get a prescription. We should be handed it as a choice, as a human right. We see other nations putting this as a human right. We have a right to a plant. We have a right to our personal safety and health and veterans are leading the way. Even though we are late we will challenge the stigma that this nation placed on a plant for the last hundred years. We need your help to ensure that government does not over regulate this plant out of the hands of those that need it. (Cheers applause).

“I am a little nervous. I do suffer from anxiety. Unfortunately, I’m not on medical marijuana today ‘cause I have to drive and I brought the sound system here.

“If this comes to a conversation about personal autonomy and safety for our fellow citizens when we choose a plant based medicine this does not mean that we have the right to do everything we want to. This means we have to protect our own nation. We protect our own citizens and we protect this movement by not being foolish.

“Take care of one another, today as you leave take away your garbage. Take care of our own mother earth. The native land that we are standing on.

“And let’s take care of one another as we go home because we’re going to be needed as we face corporations, governments, lobbyists and those that want to keep this plant out of the masses to be freely grown by all of us. (Cheers applause)

“And if government was intelligent enough to realize that we have built a nation off of small and medium size business’s they would have a completely inclusive model to this medicine so that there is an open capitalistic concept and more taxation will actually happen. Less oligarchies more freeing of the medicine right down to a recreational model. You’ve proven that it’s medicine, it makes sense. One thing this government has started is to research the cost of medicine given to veterans, should they not also actually be researching what is the cost to not give marijuana to veterans and then not give it to the rest of the population in a free model? That’s democracy. So have a great day. Be safe. Thank you very much for putting up with me.” (Cheers applause.)


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Post by Panserbjørn on Thu 19 May 2016, 15:39

I went to Marijuana for Trauma based on the advice from my psychologist. They have the potential to do doctor visits by video conference call to connect you with a doctor outside of your local area.

There are other means but this one worked for me, took three weeks to "see" the doctor and had a prescription in hand that day.

- Panserbjørn

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Anyone on medical Marawana?

Post by peep on Thu 19 May 2016, 15:16

My liver is is bad shape, and they Blame pain killers. The Dr suggested medical Marawana but says he can not write a prescription. I have to go to a special center. What???

I am stuck!. And in Cold Lake Alberta right now. I called VAC and they say see your Dr.???

Can anyone point me in the write direction, or give me a phone # or a contact story please.

Going off pain killers and it's going to be not plesent 😕
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Post by Panserbjørn on Sun 15 May 2016, 09:54

I think your LP put in for it without your consent. I believe most LPs are about to start selling oils and want their client base to be approved beforehand to facilitate the sales.

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Post by Dannypaj on Sun 15 May 2016, 08:07

Anyone else receive this letter?
I never asked for oil, but yet they already denied me.

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) has received your request for assistance
with the cost of the oil form of marijuana for medical purposes.
We regret to inform you that VAC cannot approve your request. VAC
only considers reimbursement for the dried form of marijuana for medical
To Request a Review
If you are not satisfied with this decision, you may request a review by
writing, within 60 days, to:
Veterans Affairs Canada
National 1st Level Appeals Unit
PO Box 6000
Matane QC G4W 0E4
If you have any questions, please call us toll free at 1-866-522-2122.

Anyone want to write me a counter statement?
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Philippe Lucas on the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council and patient advocacy

Post by Guest on Fri 13 May 2016, 05:50

Lucas, the interim Executive Director of the CMCC, on recent medical cannabis issues like the Allard decision, home growing, Ontario's Smoke Free Act & more

In this episode of the Lift Podcast I interview Philippe Lucas, the interim Executive Director of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council (CMCC), an industry organization that currently represents four licensed producers under Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). Lucas is also the VP of Patient Services at Tilray, a licensed producer on Vancouver Island, BC, and has been a long-time medical cannabis patient under Canada’s previous MMAR cannabis access program.

Some key points from our interview:

The CMCC is an industry organization founded in 2015 due in part to concern with kickbacks to “aggregators” for patient registration.
The CMCC is made up of and represents 4 Licensed Producers; The Peace Naturals Project, Delta9 Biotech, Tilray and Redecann, as well as various patients and patient advocacy groups.

CMCC is lobbying for removing federal taxes from medical cannabis, providing outreach to various agencies involved in medical cannabis.
The recent federal auditor’s report urging Veterans’ Affairs to reign in spending on medical cannabis is concerning because physicians should be deciding what is best for their patients, not government bureaucrats. Also, medical cannabis often replaces other dangerous and costly prescription options.
Coming changes to MMPR. Lucas says he is happy to see an increase in safe options for patients represented by the Allard decision. The right to grow your own will benefit patients, LPs are here for those who don’t or can’t grow. However, there will still be many challenges for the government to manage home growing, potentially costly to local municipalities.
The CMCC is working with patient advisory committee and specifically Jonathan Zaid and his organization CFAMM to help lobby the Ontario government with 5 recommendations to government of Ontario on their Smoke Free Ontario act. Lucas is hopeful Ontario will find a good compromise.

The government has a huge task to satisfy court in regard to Allard, says Lucas believes some form of home production is likely. The Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) is working furiously to get the legislation in place and seem to be planning to meet that deadline. Other needed changes to the MMPR include an increase on current THC levels for extracts and a lessening of various limitations on producers that limit patient choice.
The MMPR has been, overall, a more open and accessible program than the MMAR. Recent changes to government may also be helping Health Canada move forward more effectively.
In addition to lobbying for patients, CMCC also lobbies for the interests of Licensed Producers, including helping newer, smaller LP’s access genetics (clones, cuttings, seeds, mother plants). Prior to April 2014 LPs could bring plant genetics from the older MMAR system, but newer producers approved after that date don’t have the opportunity, and have to either buy from already licensed producers or buying from the small handful of legal international sources.

This issue will come up with Allard, as well. If patients can grow, where will they be allowed to get their source genetics? Coming up on a genetic bottleneck and the laws need to be loosened to allow for more variety to enter the market.
The MMPR is not an end point, it’s a starting point. Regulations continue to evolve and the change in government appears to be allowing the program to evolve in a way that will better benefits patients.
CMCC will be presenting a panel on patient advocacy at the Lift Cannabis Expo in Toronto on May 28th at 11:00am.


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