Medical pot users say changes to law will raise price, cut supply

The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA — A group representing medical marijuana users says the Conservative government’s proposed changes to the medicinal pot system will lead to more law breaking, not less.

In December, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced that medical marijuana licences would no longer be granted by the government and pot would be prescribed only by doctors.

However medical professionals say they’re reluctant to prescribe marijuana because its use is not backed by clinical evidence.

Canada’s 26,000 licenced medical pot users and their designates will also no longer be able to grow their own when the new laws take effect next year, but will have to rely on pricier government-sanctioned growers.

The Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Alliance of Canada says many doctors won’t write pot prescriptions, but tell their patients to continue using marijuana if it relieves their symptoms.

Laurie MacEachern, the director of the alliance, says doctors are advising their patients to break the law, and says luck and cash should not be the prerequisite for getting health care in Canada.

The medicinal cannabis alliance argues marijuana should be removed from Controlled Substances Act.

The government, which began a 75-day public comment period in mid-December, says it proposed the changes after a broad consultation process with stakeholders, including police and fire officials.

Organizations: Alliance of Canada

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Canada, Canada.The

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Recent comments

  • Medical Marijuana User
    January 29, 2013 - 05:25

    Bobby Day - How exactly do you know that private growers are going to charge "more than street prices" and that doctors won't prescribe? Do you have actual data or are you just making things up as you go along? If you re-read my comment, you will see I stated quite clearly why I am willing to pay more. Private growers mean more choice of strains, which means patients will get what they need in terms of treatment. Yes, there are going to be doctors unwilling to prescribe. As patients, we need to be proactive in this and take the time to educate ourselves, and if need be, provide information to our doctors as well. Patients being able to afford medication has always been an issue. I am hopeful that as with other medications, provincial governments will step in and subsidize the cost of marijuana for those who have a valid prescription but who can't afford it. If not, then we as patients need to start advocating for ourselves until they do.

  • Medical Marijuana User
    January 28, 2013 - 13:03

    As a medical marijuana user currently enrolled with the Health Canada program I disagree. Yes, the drug may become more expensive as the subsidies currently in place will be removed, however, I would gladly pay more for the simple convenience of being able to go to a local shop and buy what I want. Marijuana comes in many different strains. Some are more beneficial to help with appetite (important for people living with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy), some are better for treating depression or pain, and others work best for muscle spasms. With the new system, patients will be able to determine which strain is the best for them, rather than the one-size-fits-all supply from Health Canada. As for doctors being reluctant to prescribe marijuana because it is 'not backed by clinical evidence' this is simply untrue. There is plenty of evidence for the safety and efficacy of marijuana. Doctors need to take the time to educate themselves on this just the way they would on any other prescription drug. As for the supply being limited, I don't think this is a concern. Ross Rebagliati (the former Olympic snow boarder) is already working on a business to grow and distribute and I'm sure others will follow suit. As well, Health Canada has stated it will continue to supply until alternate sources are in place.

    • bobby day
      January 28, 2013 - 16:04

      why would you gladly pay more ? what about those who cant afford it? no doctors will prescribe pot to the other 400000 people who need it. Health Canada is making a mockery out of Canadians who need medicine. This Ross guy is planning to get rich ripping patients off by charging more than street prices. No man has the right to deprive someone of medicine!

  • Scott Free
    January 28, 2013 - 12:36

    I put can't a together sentence. It effect none has me on. I function well can. Safety workplace one priority me with is. Which hold end will I again?

    • Medical Marijuana User
      January 28, 2013 - 13:23

      Marijuana is no different than any other prescription drug. People need to take responsibility when using it and I am quite sure it will come (like other prescriptions) with adequate warnings not to drive / operate machinery. I use marijuana on a daily basis and suffer no ill effects. I also would NEVER drive or do anything else that would endanger me or anyone else while I am using it. I support medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. I also support bringing in and enforcing strict penalties for anyone caught under the influence of it (or alcohol or any other drug) while driving or while in a situation (like a workplace) where others could be put at risk.

  • Pot User
    January 28, 2013 - 12:23

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    • RJ
      January 29, 2013 - 02:45

      I have the munchies..& KFC closed up...sniff sniff ;-)

    January 28, 2013 - 12:06

    I think the Government should grow and sell the Medical pot in the Government owned Farms like the one in mount pearl , Where medical marijuana would be grown and inspected before it is sold in drug stores