Rigid medical standards for marijuana slammed by experts
published on October 9, 2015 by Gemma Karstens-Smith in The Star
VANCOUVER – The Canadian Medical Association and the federal government apply a far more rigid standard to prescribing marijuana than other drugs, resulting in negative – or even deadly – consequences, say experts from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
Medical marijuana is held to a different standard than other prescription drugs despite research suggesting it has therapeutic benefits, say three experts from the centre in a commentary published Friday in the Journal of the Canadian Public Health Association.
“When it comes to prescription marijuana, patients’ needs should be considered above political considerations,” Dr. Julio Montaner, one of the authors, said in a news release. “There could be great harm in ignoring the medical uses of marijuana.”
The government and the CMA are being overly cautious, co-author Dr. Thomas Kerr said in an interview.
“This is just not how we deliver medical care and why we’re doing it in the case of cannabis is beyond me,” he said.
Several recent studies have shown prescription cannabis can have therapeutic benefits, but the CMA and others have failed to acknowledge the research, resulting in a position that isn’t based on evidence, Kerr’s commentary said.
Other studies have shown prescribing cannabis may lead to a reduction in overdoses and deaths associated with prescription opioids.
“This can’t be taken too lightly because Canada, like the U.S., is in the midst of an epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and related overdose deaths,” Kerr said.View the full article