Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

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Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Guest on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 16:26

Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use.

September 5, 2016

OTTAWA -- When he opened a medical marijuana shop in Kingston earlier this year, Trevor Hands had little idea who his customers would be, how much they would buy or how his business would grow simply through word of mouth.
He does now.
Business is booming for Hands, thanks in large part to an influx of business from a single demographic: former Canadian Forces soldiers.

A review of Veterans Affairs Canada data on medical marijuana users, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, suggests the number of users has grown most dramatically in those parts of the country where marijuana shops and clubs cater to a local population of military veterans.
Are those businesses simply meeting demand -- or creating it?
Usage rates -- and the commensurate federal costs -- are generally higher in those areas where the stigma and barriers to medical marijuana use have been lowered or eliminated, said Zach Walsh, a University of British Columbia psychology professor.
Marijuana clubs and shops play a key role in removing those barriers, he said.
"The reason we see higher concentrations in areas where it's promoted is because it gives the individuals with PTSD the opportunity to find out that it works," Walsh said.
Veterans are proving well-educated about the potential benefits of pot, said Mike Southwell, vice-president of Marijuana for Trauma, which helps clients to understand the drug and navigate the federal benefits program that pays for it.
Once cannabis helps one veteran, they tell two others, and so on and so on, said Southwell.
"If a veteran tells another veteran about something that is working for disability, you can be guaranteed that they will tell a hundred other vets."
It's that kind of growth the federal government wants to get under control. The Liberals are expected to announce changes to the medical marijuana program in the coming weeks after years of exponential growth -- and soaring costs.
This year, the program is expected to carry a price tag of $25 million.
In 2008, when the government first started covering the cost of medical marijuana, Veterans Affairs had licensed users in only five so-called "forward sortation" areas, defined by the first three characters of a postal code.
By 2012, there were 50 forward sortation areas with cannabis users. Three years later, it was 565; this year, 588.
Much of the growth has been around Fredericton, N.B., and its neighbour CFB Gagetown, where soldiers regularly go for training throughout their careers, said Lee Windsor, deputy director at The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick.
Many veterans end up retiring in the area, which could help explain not only why it's home to the largest number of veterans in Canada who are medical marijuana users, but also the region where the costs are highest, he said.
The age of program participants is also interesting, ranging from about 25 years old -- veterans of the war in Afghanistan, presumably -- to 94-year-olds living in the Greater Toronto Area.
The data also suggest that older veterans are prescribed less than their younger counterparts -- likely because younger veterans feel less of a stigma around marijuana use than older ex-soldiers would, Walsh said.
Hands said older veterans tend to smoke their marijuana, which means they don't need large quantities, while younger veterans use cannabis in other ways like in baked goods, demanding larger prescriptions.
Dosages also depend on a former soldier's condition, be it mental, emotional or physical, Southwell said. A client with post-traumatic stress or chronic pain is going to need more cannabis than someone with a less serious problem.

"As well, everyone's chemical makeup is different -- some people require more, while some less. It really depends on the person," he said.
The question of whether cannabis works remains unanswered in the academic literature, Windsor said.
Walsh is hoping to get those answers. He is set to run the first Canadian clinical trial testing the effects of marijuana on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
For Southwell, the benefits are obvious: his clients feel better and have an improved quality of life.
"A price tag can't be put on those results."

http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/veterans-affairs-data-gives-detailed-picture-of-medical-marijuana-use-1.3058927

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Bruce72 on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 16:58

"The Liberals are expected to announce changes to the medical marijuana program in the coming weeks after years of exponential growth -- and soaring costs".

Why do I have the feeling that having a Liberal federal government may be worse than a Conservative government? I can see it now, in 3 years it'll be "anything but Liberal".

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by bigrex on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 18:20

Can their left hand not even see what the right hand is doing? They have Ralph Goodale going on the news, defending their decision to legalize the stuff, and taking steps to ensure it doesn't get every Canadian who will use it for recreational purposes, from being banned from the US. Then you have Hehr, talking about "new rules" about Veterans using it for medical reasons, in a rather negative tone. And I doubt, based on the "soaring costs" part of that statement, these new rules will so that they pay for other options, other than the dried form, because the oils look to be more expensive, even if more effective with less side effects.

So is it more about the stigma of Veterans smoking pot, or is it because they just don't want to pay for it?
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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Bruce72 on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 18:51

I think they don't want to pay for it.  I know this much if they think I'm going back to pills they're out of their minds.
I was like a zombie from the ativan,  dehydrated from the opiates,  couldn't have a bowel movement without taking a laxative, and the worse part was I couldn't get an erection.  My quality of life was garbage.
With cannabis I have none of those issues.
If they try to take it away from us I'll lead the class in a class action lawsuit.


Last edited by bruce72 on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 18:53; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Rifleman on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 20:00

Agee Bruce72 and I will be a part of that class action if need be with a joint in both hands

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Bruce72 on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 20:17

Medical cannabis is the one thing that has truly made my life tolerable. My feet and knees are ruined, and I've been dealing with PTSD for 8 years. I lost friends in the Stan, I lost my career, my personal relationships with friends and family have been tumultuous. Nightmares for almost a decade, I could go on and on.
Cannabis, has helped to bring me back from the brink of madness, literally.
I absolutely will not stand for any reduction for myself or other veterans in access to this life saving plant. I don't care what the science says or doesn't say, I don't care what any so-called expert says. Medical cannabis is a vital component to a better life.

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Dannypaj on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 05:30

MMJ has kept me off alcohol and has reduced the amount of narcotic prescribed medications I was taking.
I absolutely see nothing wrong with that! and my wife is a RN that works on the Thoracic surgery recovery floor and she stated she would rather me on MMJ, opposed to the narcotics (plus some narcotics eats away at your grey matter in your brain).

Good story: Old man is a hard core old non MMJ user Vet, but still he was interested in the MMJ, but will never use it (he should since his alcohol use is out of control).
Anyway, he asked me to show him how it worked and boys! oh boys! did I ever let out the biggest cloud (of MMJ smoke),  I blew out a lot of relief allowing myself to finally be able to consume MMJ in peace (prescribed) in front of my family (dad, mother and sister) and it finally felt okay for me to do so.  
If the SGT Major is okay with it, I am okay with it.
So, if the GOC is not understanding something or is trying to make it a muddled situation, the smoke will clear up and there will be smiles on many veterans faces Wink
GOC do not mess up a good thing.
Where are the horror stories of MMJ use, I haven't seen one.

PS. I write on this site and no one writes or comments back, WTF with that, or am I just paranoid..lmao
Keep our heads up ladies and gentlemen!
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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Guest on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 07:03

Danny just because you don't get a response from your post does not mean your post aren't being read. This is all in being a part of a forum, we all have posted on the forum and responses vary from one post to the next, it is just the way it is and one should not be to concerned about the amount of responses they get. The important thing is to continue posting your questions, thoughts and info regardless of the amount of responses you get, if people did not post, the forum would not function well. I encourage everyone to post on the forum, Rex and I can edit, move, merge post as we see fit, this is done not to discourage posting on the forum, it is done so those reading the forum can navigate the topics a little easier. We are all equal here, no one including myself and Rex are any different from anyone else, we are all Veterans here who all share the same values of getting help and providing help which is done by everyone getting involved in posting on the forum. As I said many times in the past, I encourage everyone to post on the forum, don't be afraid to post and don't take offence if your post are edited, moved or merged by myself or Rex. Finally, don't get discouraged if what you post, does not get a response, it is still there for everyone to view.

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Newf on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 07:45

I visit this website almost daily and read all the new posts.  I enjoy hearing what people have to say, their opinions and advice to others.  Some posts I will comment on and others I just chose to read.  What is important is that there is a place to share information, get advice and help each other so please keep posting messages.
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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Dannypaj on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 08:09

Trooper, the PS part of my post was a test to make sure I was being heard..lol!
Anyway, it is good to know this site is here for Veterans and Guests and getting real time answers is A-one, at least for me it is.
Teentitan has said it and I believe it, "There are people who read this forum that are in the upper echelons or (whatever they like to call it....)",if you have a genuine concern, you'll definitely get a genuine no BS answer from this site.



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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Bruce72 on Sat 10 Sep 2016, 08:16

Danny

You made a really good point. You said:

"Where are the horror stories of MMJ use, I haven't seen one".

I too have not read or heard of even one negative experience from veterans about their use of cannabis to alleviate their pain or symptoms of PTSD.

I read all your posts Danny, and generally speaking, I only comment on others posts if I feel I can contribute something to help a fellow veteran, or if my emotions get the best of me. Don't feel left out.

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by 1993firebird on Sun 11 Sep 2016, 20:31

I was approved 2 grams per day yesterday now just waiting for approval from Veterans Affairs for payment.

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Bruce72 on Sun 11 Sep 2016, 20:59

Right on firebird. As I've said to other vets, it's made a world of difference in my life and I hope you have the same experience.

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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by Vet1234 on Sun 11 Sep 2016, 21:01

that's awesome. I went through MFT and both of my Licensed Producers pre approved me so no waiting for VAC. Did you pick a Producer?
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Re: Veterans Affairs data gives detailed picture of medical marijuana use

Post by 1993firebird on Mon 12 Sep 2016, 08:49

I went through MFT as well but I thought Veterans Affairs still has to decide if they will pay for it. I can pay for it myself but I prefer to be covered by VAC.

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