Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

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Marijuana centre opens for veterans suffering PTSD

Post by Bruce72 on Sun 02 Oct 2016, 12:46

http://m.edmontonsun.com/2016/10/01/marijuana-centre-opens-for-veterans-suffering-ptsd

Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain opened in Edmonton on Saturday.

Reporter Juris Graney visited Marijuana for Trauma to find out what it was all about.

Who are they?

“When I started this, I was suicidal,” says Marijuana for Trauma CEO and company founder Fabian Henry.

The 12-year Canadian Forces veteran was deployed six times, including two to Afghanistan.

His PTSD symptoms developed from events on his last tour and when Henry returned to Canada, his life fell apart.

“I lost my wife, my kids, everything I’d worked for, my house, everything I owned,” he says.

When he tried cannabis six years ago, he ditched his meds, pulled his life together and started his crusade to help veterans.

 

“I lived out of a box when I started this and I had $44 in my bank account,” he says.

“I was 30 years old and it was like the world lied to me about marijuana because I felt this overwhelming good feeling when I used it when my brain was telling me it was wrong.”

 

The Cape Bretoner used a café with free internet and cheap coffee to help veterans navigate the paperwork needed to access support programs and medical marijuana to treat PTSD and depression.

On Saturday, Edmonton became the 12th location of a network that stretches all the way across Canada to St. John’s, Nfld. and is targeted not just at military veterans but first responders and civilians.

What do they do?

“Let’s be clear: Marijuana for Trauma does not dispense marijuana,” says national business manager, Jean-Guy Bourguignon.

What it does do, he continues, is “facilitate and support safe and responsible patient access to medically prescribed cannabis by providing links to knowledgeable physicians for those suffering from PTSD, chronic pain and other conditions aided by medical marijuana.”

Essentially, they help veterans navigate “the medical and pension benefits maze of paperwork” while helping them source licensed medical-grade marijuana.

They also offer support programs of counsellors, peer support networks, and spousal and wellness programs.

They even offer cooking lessons with marijuana as a key ingredient and are working towards incorporating more health services including psychologists and social workers.

Why focus on marijuana to treat PTSD?

The company’s clinical coordinator, Francois Halle, says medical marijuana isn’t a cure for PTSD, but that it helps with symptoms and quality of life and different strains can be used to target different symptoms.

For instance, some strains with high cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis — are effective for the treatment of pain and anxiety because the CBD counteracts paranoia brought on by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gets people high.

Other strains create a euphoric high that helps “relax the mind and body” and can aid in getting to sleep.

"Selecting the right strain and preparing medicinal marijuana is not always simple," Halle says.

"Whether ingesting it in gel cap form, incorporating it into an edible, or smoking or vaping cannabis, patients need knowledge, guidance and skill."


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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by 1993firebird on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 15:23

I was approved for payment of Medical Marijuana by Veterans Affairs. Now I will submit approval for payment of my Vaporizer.

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by Bruce72 on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 20:00

Good to hear firebird, one less thing for you to worry about.

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by 1993firebird on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 20:16

Yes , also dealing with ELB medical report and ELB 15% increase paperwork as I get LTD.

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Medical marijuana users ask Liberals to cut costs, update status

Post by Trooper on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 06:00

Medical marijuana users ask Liberals to cut costs, update status.

Oct. 19, 2016

Medical cannabis patients are urging the federal government to make marijuana more affordable by encouraging insurers to cover it and dropping the sales tax once it is legalized.

Earlier this week, 15 patients from across Canada spoke with four members of the government’s legalization task force about how medical cannabis helps them with a variety of ailments. They told the panel that the cost of medical marijuana often causes financial hardship, according to event facilitator Hilary Black, founder of Vancouver’s oldest dispensary and current director of patient services at the licensed commercial grower Bedrocan.

The event was sponsored by the Arthritis Society, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana and the Canadian AIDS Society, and attended by patients from different backgrounds, including a police officer, a veteran, and a woman whose epileptic son uses cannabis, said Ms. Black.

The nine-member task force, led by former justice minister Anne McLellan, must submit its final report next month and so far has met youth and experts in relevant fields such as health care, substance abuse, criminal justice, law enforcement, economics and the legal and illegal production of cannabis.

But it hadn’t yet talked directly with patients until Tuesday, Ms. Black said.

Those patients overwhelmingly want Ottawa to remove the sales tax on marijuana and to declare it a medicine so insurers are more inclined to offer coverage. Health Canada has not approved marijuana as a medicine.

Before being marketed, any drug must be issued a unique number by Health Canada that identifies its manufacturer, product name, active ingredients, strength, pharmaceutical form and route of administration.

“I don’t think it’s realistic for a herb that has many active ingredients in it to be able to check the boxes of getting a drug identification number,” she said. “We’re recommending that they give cannabis its own directorate and find a way to give it its own approval status.”

Currently, only veterans, some first responders and a small number of private citizens get their medical marijuana covered by health insurance providers.

Jonathan Zaid, head of the patient advocacy group Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, said the cost of cannabis was consistently stressed by patients at Tuesday’s roundtable, which included Ms. McLellan.

“Very few patients are able to afford their medicine,” said Mr. Zaid, a part-time undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo’s knowledge integration program.

Mr. Zaid made headlines last year when his private insurer agreed to cover his medical cannabis as part of his health plan, which is administrated by the university’s student union. Mr. Zaid suffers from a rare neurological condition that gives him a daily persistent headache.

Before Sun Life Financial Inc. began covering his drug, he was paying about $800 a month for buds bought from Canada’s legal mail-order system. Now, with 80 per cent of his drug covered, he spends about $150 to $200 a month.

“It’s not the most inexpensive medication [now], but lots of the other medications I was on before are just as much money,” he said.

Both Ms. Black and Mr. Zaid said marijuana patients want Ottawa to ensure that they have reliable access to the drug under any new system that governs recreational and medical sales.

Health Canada tweaked its medical marijuana system this summer to allow for personal production in response to a Federal Court ruling earlier this year that a ban on home-grown marijuana violated a patient’s Charter right to life, liberty and security of the person and ordered the federal government to make the drug more accessible and affordable.

Under the new regime, which took effect on Aug. 24, patients who consume a gram a day – about the average prescription, according to Health Canada – can expect to be allowed to grow about two plants outdoors or five indoors (the two environments produce different yields). The licensed producers will remain the sole legal source of seeds and plants.

The groups that organized Tuesday’s meeting say they want patients to be able to buy their medicine through the mail as well as in person through pharmacies or dispensaries.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/medical-marijuana-users-ask-liberals-to-cut-costs-update-status/article32450568/

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Veterans allowed too much pot, says former NDP MP Peter Stoffer

Post by Trooper on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 08:00

Veterans allowed too much pot, says former NDP MP Peter Stoffer.

'10 grams a day is an awful lot of marijuana ... It is an incredible amount'

Oct 23, 2016

Former NDP MP and critic for veterans affairs Peter Stoffer is now working as public affairs advocate for Trauma Healing Centres, which helps veterans, first responders and others who have PTSD or chronic pain. He says Veterans Affairs allows too much medical pot.

Former NDP MP Peter Stoffer agrees that medical cannabis can have benefits for veterans, but says he's worried about the amount of cannabis former soldiers are allowed under Veterans Affairs Canada rules.

Stoffer, who was veterans affairs critic for the NDP until he was defeated in the 2015 election, believes that the high level of medical marijuana allowed by Veterans Affairs — up to 10 grams a day — is fostering overuse.

"Ten grams a day is an awful lot of marijuana to give one person. It is an incredible amount."

Stoffer is now public affairs advocate for Trauma Healing Centres, a company that works with veterans, first responders and others dealing with trauma and chronic pain. While he says cannabis can help veterans who are suffering, he says the goal is to help manage their pain, not to get them high.

"That's simply not the way to go. You're not helping that person at all. You're not giving them any chance of recovery. All you're really doing is masking the pain that they're suffering," Stoffer said.

The Trauma Healing Centres offer counselling as well as medical cannabis consultations.

"What you need to do is really sit down with these individuals, and long before you dispense any marijuana, look at their lifestyle: what are they doing, what are they eating, where do they live, how is their financial situation, how is their personal situation?" he added.

Veterans Affairs doesn't actually give veterans medical marijuana, but the department allows them to be compensated for up to 10 grams a day through insurance. Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said back in March that he was launching an internal review of medical marijuana policy, after data showed the number of prescriptions had increased tenfold in two years.

The auditor general also expressed concern that 10 grams was too much in his spring 2016 report.

Auditor general wants better monitoring

"This is double the amount identified as being appropriate in Veterans Affairs Canada's consultations with external health professionals, and more than three times the amount that Health Canada has reported as being most commonly utilized by individuals for medical purposes," the report said.

The auditor's report also pointed out that while Veterans Affairs manages the only publicly funded plan that covers medical marijuana, "it does not monitor trends that may suggest high-risk utilization."

At least one veterans' group takes issue with Stoffer's position.

"No bureaucrat is entitled to get between a patient and a doctor," said Michael Blais of Canadian Veterans Advocacy. "If that physician has written out a script for whatever, it is Veterans Affairs Canada's obligation to fulfil that script if it relates to the wound. End of story. There's no limitations."

Blais said he takes six grams of marijuana a day to help with complex neurological pain. He said his marijuana has very low counts of THC, which means he doesn't get high. However, Blais said it has helped him get off narcotic painkillers.

He's upset by Stoffer's suggestion that doctors are prescribing too much medical pot.

"We have to understand that these men and women have sustained serious, life-altering trauma in many cases," and that medical marijuana has given them hope.

"And now that they've found relief, now that there's an alternative there, for anyone who is not in pain, who has not sacrificed, to come out and make arbitrary statements on dosage, that — without even looking at [a] man's medical record or talking to his doctor, is ludicrous," Blais said.

Pot for post-traumatic stress

​Stoffer and Blais both agree with veterans using cannabis to help with post-traumatic stress disorder. However 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.

It's unclear how many veterans use medical marijuana to treat PTSD or operational stress injuries. Veterans Affairs said in March that it doesn't track the underlying conditions behind prescriptions.

Stoffer said he's seen many veterans whose lives were turned around by using cannabis to treat PTSD. He believes the anecdotal evidence of its effects, combined with whatever scientific data is available, should be enough for the government.

"I believe so. But don't take my word for it, take the word of the veterans who are on medical cannabis and what it's done for them."

A doctor would have to prescribe marijuana in order for Veterans Affairs to cover the costs, but the auditor general also raised questions about the practice.

​It analyzed the data for a nine-month span in 2015 and found that just four doctors authorized more than half the medical marijuana claims.

Stoffer added that he'd like to see monitoring by Veterans Affairs to see if the medications they covered are actually helping veterans in the way they were intended.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stoffer-medical-pot-ptsd-1.3813735
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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by Bruce72 on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 08:38

I'm sick and tired of bureaucrats, politicians and so-called medical experts who have no vested interest other than money or attention having an opinion on veterans and our use of medical cannabis to treat what ails us.

The only experts on the subject are veterans who use medical cannabis. What part of, "cannabis has made my life more manageable and fulfilling" than pills, do these people not understand?

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by Rifleman on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 09:09

Totally agree Bruce I for one know for a fact that MM has made my life a lot better why is it every time someone new gets a position to deal with vetrans and there mental health needs and of course pain they become a so called expert in the MM field and tell us what is best ( money) of course I use to take 12 pills a day but sence I've started using MM these pills are not in my life and I'm very happy for that and to say they should have somebody sit down with us to talk about it just what a vetran needs after a doctor has already prescribed the MM for his injuries is total nonsense lord frack they are already back logged over 11000 claims for benifits clean up the mess you already have you fracking morons before you start making more it all comes down to MONEY MONEY MONEY and of course more jobs MR STOFFER LEAVE THINGS ALONE

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by Rifleman on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 09:14

Sorry for the spelling and grammar mistakes IM HIGH !!!!

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by RobbieRoyal on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:49

Medical Marijuana what do I know, to be honest absolutely nothing, so why comment on this new “Veteran Feel Good Medicinal Wonder” because I want to be educated and being ignorant to this subject is not a good place to be.
Here is what I know and this is what I see. Many of my friends while serving did and still use cannabis daily. Many former soldiers that I hung and hang with still use cannabis as a “high” accelerant to combat PTSD or emotional indifference and now they tell me it combats pain. I don’t care about the cost as some of our anti-psychotic meds run into the hundreds per month. It’s not about anything other than fueling an addiction that already persists in our veteran community.  10 grams seems to be the norm along with the depression/pain meds and the alcohol this is an “Atomic Bomb” that will plot its course across this nation post-haste. If you are pissed at my ignorance so be it I have huge shoulders and a huge medical history of depression and physical pain to back up my concerns. Broken back (twice), severe disk and torso displacement, ankles that scream at my knees to get the hell off at the next 4 hour interval and a severe case of hyper alertness that has given me super human hearing. Yet never once have I wanted to partake in any medicinal marijuana experience, does this make me better than you, I sure hope not. It means I am very afraid of the outcome of addiction while trying to right this broken ship.
I do think that this venture needs to be addressed ASAP.
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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by 1993firebird on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 17:23

ASAP this , LOL. I have a prescription for 2 grams a day and I am not able to use that much so for me 10 grams is excessive. I hope I do not get addicted but I believe that I will because I like the feeling of relaxation and numbness.

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by Trooper on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 17:46

No addiction is good, but if I had the choice between hard core medical pain killers versus MM, I would go with MM, hands down.

These pharmaceutical drugs can be highly addictive and the long term affects can be very harmful in every aspect.

Most of these studies and suggestions come from people who have a tunnel vision view of Cannabis, nothing will change their position.

Peter is off in my opinion on this topic.
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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by 1993firebird on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 18:15

I agree with respect to medication , since I starting using Marijuana , I stopped taking medication.

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by Bruce72 on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 19:18

As I've said before, I have been down the percocet, ativan, zoloft, lurazepam, flurazepam road and I was dehydrated, dopey, couldn't take a crap without a laxative, couldn't get an erection and couldn't take cialis or viagra because it affects my vision path.

I will not go through that again, as the MVA likes to say, FULL STOP. My life is better through cannabis, FULL STOP. I receive 5 grams per day. My life is more manageable and fulfilling with medical cannabis, FULL STOP.

I illegally self medicated with cannabis for years before getting a prescription for MM and I will not be forced into that again!

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Re: Western Canada’s first medical marijuana support service focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Post by 1993firebird on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 19:26

Zoloft , 300mg per day caused erectile dysfunction.

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