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

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Medical marijuana users ask Liberals to cut costs, update status

Post by Guest 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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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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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, 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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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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