Medical Marijuana and Canada

On my My Medical Marijuana Journey page I talk about how difficult it is, in Canada, to acquire medical marijuana.

Although, it is terrific that, in Canada, it is legal to purchase medical marijuana with a proper licence, acquiring is laborious and difficult.

Here are the steps:

1.  Find a doctor who is on board with the process.
2.  Go on the Health Canada website and find the list of providers which Health Canada has approved.
3.  Figure out which provider you would like to use.
4.  Fill out the necessary paperwork including having the doctor fill out a licence provided by the “provider / supplier”.
5.  Send the (original) documentation to the supplier.
6.  Wait while they vet the doctor.  If they do not have the doctor in their system they need to talk to him/her to make sure they are legit. etc.
7.  Now you have permission to order the amount which the doctor has filled out in the prescription.
8.  If the supplier suddenly stops supplying the strain which is effective for you, you need to discharge yourself from them and start the process all over again!

In my case, this was a 3 months process which involved waiting for doctor’s appointments, calling all the suppliers as well as visiting their websites, researching nerve pain and marijuana and which strain would work well for my issue, finally putting all the pieces together.

I understand that there need to be checks and balances, but my difficulty with this process is the following:

1.  There are many suppliers (17 in total) and in order to decide which one you would like to go with you need to know which strain(s) you need for your particular condition.
2.  Although there are written guidelines by Health Canada there is very little information with regards to strains and in many cases the doctors have little or no training in either dosing or strains.
3.  If you have no one else to go to, you will need to depend on the supplier to assist you with strains and dosing.

In what world would a doctor say:  You need to take XYZ and you will need to choose the pharmaceutical company you want to purchase from and ask them how much you should take?

Marijuana is one of the safer options with regards to dosing because it does not effect the central nervous system in the same way as narcotics (i.e.  large quantities will not cause you to stop breathing).  This makes it a safe option as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, etc.   So, I suppose this is why experimentation with regards to dosing is “safe”.

My question is this:  If it is classified as “medical marijuana” why is it not treated as any other medicine, so that I can purchase it where I want depending on availability and price?  Why is Health Canada not providing support to the doctors with regards to strains and dosing?

In my experience with chronic pain I have taken morphine, dilaudid, tramadol, tramacet…all narcotics which if taken in large quantities can knock you out or even kill you, yet these medications are prescribed on a regular basis by doctors.

Medical marijuana is a safer choice and in my experience actually rids me of my pain while narcotics just made me care less about the pain. There is so much suspicion with regards to marijuana, yet I am taking a strain (with a high CBD / low THC ratio)  which assists in alleviating my pain, does not make me high, and increases my quality of life exponentially.

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