Cancer patients should be allowed to use medical marijuana for pain relief

Medical MarijuanaRecently, a Liberal Democrat minister called medical marijuana to be legalized for medical use. It was stated by Norman Baker that the drug can help in relieving symptoms for the sufferers of conditions, including multiple sclerosis and also help those having chemotherapy. However, the suggestion of Home Office minister was dismissed by a Coalition spokesman. He pointed to clear evidence medical can harm physical and mental health of people.

The comments of Mr. Baker are the latest from Lib Dem ministers pressing to soften marijuana laws. The opponents who allowed medical marijuana insisted that it can be used as a back door to decriminalize the drug more widely.

However, Mr Baker said that there was a body of growing research showing the properties of medical marijuana. He also proposed the change in a letter to Jeremy Hunt, who is a Health Secretary, leaked to The Guardian newspaper.

Mr Baker stated that it is time for reconsidering the medicinal properties of marijuana, given what he has learned in his role as a minister and has seen several evidences that marijuana can provide genuine medical benefits for treating a number of conditions. There is also a growing body of research that elaborates the medical properties of chemical elements of marijuana.

Mr. Baker said that he is not comfortable that there are credible people he had met who told him that marijuana is the only substance that helps in relieving their condition. However, not only they are stopped to access it officially but also had to break the laws to help their health.

He also said that many other countries recognize that medical marijuana does have medicinal benefit and they need to look again at this issue for helping people who are ill and it is a quite different matter from recreational use and that is not at issue currently. He further suggested that medical marijuana can be used to help conditions, including glaucoma and MS. Moreover, it can be used for combating the side-effects of cancer, Crohn’s disease and Aids treatment.

Introduction of Medical Marijuana in Canada

Medical Marijuana

Canada is the first country to legalize medical marijuana in 2001, around the world. A court mandate for providing patients with access to marijuana has left politicians with little choice in this issue. In 2003, the Supreme Court of Ontario upheld a patient’s right for having access to legal, safe source of cannabis due to a ruling related to a lawsuit created by the suppliers and users of by medical marijuana.

The data from the 1996 Project Canada Survey poll suggested that more than 90 percent of the Canadians support medical marijuana and its legal use. Meanwhile, the politicians of Canada have struggled for determining the right level of public support and research for this sensitive problem. The Cannabis Medical Access (OCMA) offices were set up by Health Canada in 2000, which was later known as the (MMA) Medical Marihuana Access, for administering the federal program. In Canada, the medical marijuana program outlined 3 categories of people who can possess marijuana:

  • Those having terminal illness with a death prognosis within a year
  • Those having symptoms related to a serious medical condition.
  • Patients who suffers from the symptoms of medical conditions, including severe arthritis, MS and HIV infection.

The rules summarized the maximum number of outdoor and indoor plants authorized growers can produce. Recently, 37,359 citizens in Canada are licensed to own medical marijuana as compared to 477 in 2001 when the program started, according to the Health Canada.

Nevertheless, several numbers of barriers are keeping the program out of reach for the immense majority of patients who use medical marijuana. As per the data from the current national survey, more than 400,000 Canadians were using medical marijuana in 2011 and less than 20,000 Canadians were authorized under the program of Health Canada the same year.

Possibly, the greatest challenge is the acceptance among doctor groups. Both the Canadian Medical Protection Agency and Canadian Medical Association warned doctors repeatedly against supporting the medical marijuana use. Today there is a strong resistance among most doctors of Canada towards prescribing a medicine for which less research exists.

Political debate on marijuana legalization enters into Critical Phase

Marijuana LegalizationThe political debate on the issue of marijuana legalization is soon going to intensify in Canada, according to a New York Times editorial which calls for the federal government of U.S to repeal the 44 years of ban on marijuana.

The influential newspaper that says the question of marijuana legalization should be left up to the individuals of U.S. states, is running a 6-day series on the problem, and has also reignited a hot debate among the Americans. It was concluded by the influential newspaper that the ban has inflicted a great harm on the society just for prohibiting a substance far less harmful as compared to alcohol. The editorial came when some U.S. states reformed marijuana laws. On 1st Jan, in Colorado, Marijuana went on sale for recreational use and recently, Washington followed this suit. However, Alaska and Oregon are going to vote on the matter in November.

Nevertheless, since a federal ban on the marijuana is still on the books, those states which favour marijuana legalization do so in the direct contravention of federal law. In Canada, a Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has favoured a system of marijuana legalization which regulates the sale of marijuana and keeps it out of the hands of minors. It was argued by the Liberals that it is an intelligent way to deal with the problem because it will take away the marijuana market from gangs and crime, while also ensures a better system to address the marijuana effects on communities and individual health.

Ralph Goodale, a Deputy Liberal leader said in an interview that he welcomes the editorial of the New York Times. He further said that it is more serious comment having a lot of intellectual heft behind it which makes the point that the recent regime of absolute prohibition is not working. Most notably, he also said that the central objective to keep marijuana from youths does not work and all of the revenue ends up in the hands of society and gangs is no safer and no healthier. Therefore, surely a room for intelligent discussion should be there about the ways for doing that better. However, the governing Conservatives are still against the marijuana legalization.

Medical Marijuana Market of Canada Boost Up

Medical marijuanaAccording to industry filings and sources, there are 4 medical marijuana producers of Canada who are working on the transactions that will enable them to go public in the upcoming few weeks and give investors fresh paths to a growing industry.

A holding company which is involved with 3 licensed producers of marijuana, Pharma Can Capital, Bedrocan Canada Inc, Mettrum Ltd and OrganiGram Inc is going to join the Tweed Marijuana Inc. which is the only listed producer currently on the TSX Venture Exchange. As soon as these companies will become public, the investors will be able to indirectly or directly own shares in seven, which includes the three associated with PharmaCan and of the 13 licensed medical marijuana producers by Health Canada. The market value of Tweed is $ 101 million and it went public in April through a reverse takeover of a listed company.

The rivals of the Tweed are involved in same deals that give fledgling companies to seek access to public markets and the ability to list through shell companies listed already on an exchange. There are many medical marijuana producers that are listed in the United States on the less-actively regulated over-the-counter market. However, the nationwide rules that are governing medical marijuana in Canada are different from the market of the United States, where marijuana is not legal at the federal level, and are making the nascent sector appealing to both foreign and Canadian investors.

It was reported by medical marijuana producers that there is a robust demand from patients as well as a rising interest from the venture capital firms and fund managers. Moreover, signs of initial consolidation have been emerged, with licensed producer bought by Pharmacan In The Zone Produce Ltd and a greenhouse facility acquired by Tweed in Ontario.

Bedrocan Canada has received a conditional approval from the TSX Venture Exchange for its listing and is expected to be the first of this crop to go public. It has been reported by the two sources which are close to the company that Bedrocan BV, which is a partner of Dutch medical marijuana producer is currently valued at around $57-million based on the most recent round of financing. It is building a medical marijuana growing facility of 52,000-square-foot in Ontario, which is going to begin production by the end of the year.

It’s High Time for Decriminalizing Marijuana

decriminalizing marijuanaPeter MacKay, Justice Minister in Vancouver reiterated that he will consider decriminalizing marijuana laws of Canada particularly, treating small-time ownership like a traffic violation instead a criminal matter. Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed openness to the position of the CACP (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police) that also has declared that it is appropriate to ticket in some circumstances. Jim Prentice, who is a would-be Progressive Conservative leader of Alberta, said that people should not be jailed just because they try to smoke a joint.

In essence, Prentice, Harper and Messrs. MacKay all has declared themselves open to the idea to decriminalize marijuana laws, which the National Organization of United States for the Reform of Marijuana Laws describes as no criminal record or prison time for first-time ownership of a small amount of marijuana for personal consumption. This is essentially twice proposed by the Liberals last decade. However, at every opportunity, three of them insisted they are not open for decriminalizing marijuana.

Any of these gentlemen can possibly argue not to support the decriminalization, their arguments were bad ones. For instance, Mr. Prentice is thinking that police should decide themselves that whether to lay charges or not. However, that is quite much what’s happening these days. In 2012, more than 41.5 % of citizen in Canada reported that they have used marijuana in their lifetimes. In case Mr. Prentice does not think that small-time possessors of marijuana should go to jail, then why left it up to police?

This same question also applied to Harper and Messrs. MacKay in a narrower sense: They say that they are considering CACP proposal, which will give officers the option of pursuing criminal charges or writing a ticket as written currently. The Conservatives are not generally in the business to grant the justice system discretion. They were last seen to implement ludicrously harsh minimum sentences on the marijuana files, for instance, 6 months for growing 6 or more plants. Now, they say that they may be willing to leave it up to the police. Mr. Prentice said that he has raised his daughters in Alberta and he is in the view of decriminalizing marijuana.

Endorsement of Medical Marijuana by President of Colombia

Legalize MarijuanaRecently, Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia endorsed newly introduced legislation which will legalize marijuana for therapeutic and medicinal in this drug war afflicted Andean nation.

Santos, who is a proponent of rethinking prohibitionist drug rules, made an announcement at a policy forum in the capital of Colombia, Bogota. This was his first major statement of drug policy since he won re-election. Santos further added that a governing coalition senator introduced a bill last month, which is a compassionate and practical measure for reducing the anxiety and pain of patients having terminal illnesses, however, also a way to begin to strip the role of intermediary from the criminal’s hands between the substance and the patient that enables them for relieving their suffering.

Uruguay has approved to legalize marijuana and the justice minister of Jamaica announced in June plans to legalize marijuana for medical and religious purposes and decriminalize the ownership of amounts up to 57 grams.

Sen. Juan Manuel Galan, introduced the medicinal use bill. In 1989, Juan Manuel’s father was assassinated by cocaine traffickers. Juan told The Associated Press that other states in the region considering same measures include Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Juan said his aim is to have his bill that is going to put the medical marijuana distribution under the government control, gains final legislative approval next year in June.

The director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New York, Ethan Nademann said that some U.S. countries as well as states such as Canada and Israel are well advanced in providing government-administered legalize marijuana for medical use, when a bill was introduced in the Central American nation of Costa Rica last week.

The marijuana plantations in Colombia help to enrich right-wing paramilitary bands and leftist rebels alike, though cocaine is a big business for them. General Ricardo Restrepo, who is the commander of counter drug police of Colombia told the AP that currently the country has around 390 hectares (1.5 square miles) of marijuana fields. A pound of this field costs at $ 230.

According to U.N, Colombia is the second largest marijuana (cocaine) producing country after Peru. Therefore, the endorsement of marijuana by the President of Colombia is helping to legalize marijuana.

Colorado is Setting Rules for Marijuana-infused Foods

Marijuana IndustryThe marijuana experiment of Colorado is threatened by the fame of eating it rather than smoking it. This leads the marijuana industry to join state regulators and health officials to try to curb the issue of users ingesting too much marijuana. A task force that met recently planned to begin working on refining the rules of Colorado on edibles, the industry term for marijuana that has been infused and concentrated into drink or food.

Dr. George Sam Wang, a well-known doctor in Colorado said that he is trying to figure out how to come up with a reasonable THC amount or concentration in proportion in edibles to product safety size. Dr. George is a pediatric emergency physician who treats toddlers and children who fell ill after eating marijuana.

Marijuana-infused foods are booming in the new recreational market of the state. Many choose edible marijuana because they are concerned with health issues about smoking the marijuana. Others are visitors who are not able to find a hotel that enables toking and are stymied by a rule barring public outdoor marijuana smoking. Whether through confusion or inexperience, many are eating too much marijuana too quickly, resulting in potentially deadly consequences.

Recently, a college student from Wyoming jumped from a Denver hotel balcony last and died after consuming 6 times the recommended dose of a marijuana-infused cookie. And a few days back Denver man shoots his wife reportedly after eating marijuana-laced candy before the attack, although police say he might have had other drugs in his system.

All the deaths are underscoring a common complaint from new marijuana consumers. The customers do not know that how much marijuana to consume, this is why they have unpleasant experiences after they ingest too much. Colorado has already limited THC, which is an intoxicating chemical in marijuana in edible products to 10mg each serving, having a maximum of 10 servings per package. Marijuana varies widely in quality and potency because exact comparisons are tricky, however, 10mg of THC is roughly considered equivalent to the amount in a medium-sized joint. The marijuana industry is improving with great pace all around the country.