The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recently told the CBC that because cannabis will be legal soon there is no need for a separate medical authorization system. A 65 year old grandmother with rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease should not be treated the same as a 22 year old picking up a case of beer and a bag of weed on a Friday night. The fact that some doctors may not be comfortable with or knowledgeable about medical cannabis does not mean medical cannabis patients should be denied medical oversight. Should cannabis patients be concerned about interactions with other medications? Might cannabis be a bad fit for certain patients? Should cannabis patients be concerned about what quantities, what strains, at what times, and in what form to take medical cannabis? Obviously. Cannabis patients need more guidance not less. Instead of trying to separate doctors from medical cannabis, the CMA should be better educating doctors.
This is unfortunate, but it is no surprise. The CMA said as much in their legalization submission to Health Canada. In taking this position the CMA is ignoring peer reviewed science and disregarding their patients’ views. The CMA likes to say that the public needs to be educated on cannabis. More than the public, the CMA needs a cannabis education.