Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations

Jul 12, 2013

( Editor’s note: The fol­low­ing opin­ion piece was sub­mit­ted by Leona Aglukkaq, fed­eral min­is­ter of health ) While the courts have said Cana­di­ans must have rea­son­able access to a legal source of mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses, the Gov­ern­ment of Canada believes this must be done in a con­trolled fash­ion in order to pro­tect pub­lic safety. On June 10, the Gov­ern­ment of Canada announced the new Mar­i­juana for Med­ical Pur­poses Reg­u­la­tions ( MMPR ). These reg­u­la­tions are intended to pro­vide rea­son­able access for those Cana­di­ans who need mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses while pro­tect­ing pub­lic safety. When the Mar­i­juana Med­ical Access Pro­gram was intro­duced in 2001 in response to the court deci­sion, the num­ber of peo­ple autho­rized to use mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses stood at less than 500. Over the years that num­ber has grown to more than 30,000. As a result, costs to tax­pay­ers have con­tin­ued to climb as Health Canada heav­ily sub­si­dizes the pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses. As well, under the cur­rent pro­gram, Cana­di­ans can apply to grow mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses in pri­vate homes or buy from Health Canada. The abil­ity for indi­vid­u­als to pro­duce mar­i­juana in pri­vate homes has added to pub­lic health, safety and secu­rity risks as crim­i­nal ele­ments have abused the sys­tem. The government’s goal is to treat dried mar­i­juana as much as pos­si­ble like other nar­cotics used for med­ical pur­poses under the MMPR by cre­at­ing con­di­tions for a new, com­mer­cial indus­try that will be respon­si­ble for its pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion. Health Canada will return to its tra­di­tional role as a reg­u­la­tor. Licensed pro­duc­ers will pro­vide access to quality-controlled mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses, pro­duced under secure and san­i­tary con­di­tions, to those Cana­di­ans who need it, while strength­en­ing the safety of Cana­dian com­mu­ni­ties. In line with other con­trolled sub­stances, per­sonal and des­ig­nated pro­duc­tion will be phased out. This will reduce the health and safety risks, such as fire and toxic mould haz­ards, to indi­vid­u­als and to the Cana­dian pub­lic, while allow­ing for a quality-controlled and more secure prod­uct for med­ical use. Under the new reg­u­la­tions, licensed pro­duc­ers will have to meet exten­sive secu­rity and qual­ity con­trol require­ments includ­ing request­ing secu­rity clear­ance for cer­tain key posi­tions, and meet­ing phys­i­cal secu­rity require­ments ( such as a secu­rity sys­tem that detects intrud­ers ). Licensed pro­duc­ers will also be sub­ject to com­pli­ance and enforce­ment mea­sures, and dried mar­i­juana will only be shipped through a secure deliv­ery ser­vice directly to the address the client has spec­i­fied. Taken together, these mea­sures will reduce the risks of diver­sion of mar­i­juana to illicit mar­kets. Under the MMPR, the fun­da­men­tal role of health providers does not change. The respon­si­bil­ity to assess a patient and decide on appro­pri­ate treat­ment con­tin­ues to rest with health care prac­ti­tion­ers. The MMPR have cre­ated a stream­lined process for those need­ing access to mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses, elim­i­nat­ing the need for indi­vid­u­als to share health infor­ma­tion with Health Canada. To help sup­port health care prac­ti­tion­ers in mak­ing deci­sions about whether mar­i­juana is an appro­pri­ate treat­ment option, an Expert Advi­sory Com­mit­tee was cre­ated to assist in pro­vid­ing health care prac­ti­tion­ers with com­pre­hen­sive, accu­rate and up-todate infor­ma­tion on the known uses of mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses. More infor­ma­tion is avail­able on the Health Canada web­site. The gov­ern­ment under­stands the need to con­tinue to pro­vide rea­son­able access to a legal source of mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses and the new régime does so in a man­ner that is con­sis­tent with the way access is pro­vided for other nar­cotics used for med­ical pur­poses. This more appro­pri­ately bal­ances the needs of patients with the health, safety and secu­rity of all Cana­di­ans. Source: Annapo­lis County Spec­ta­tor; The (CN NS) Copy­right: 2013 Transcon­ti­nen­tal Nova Sco­tia Media Group inc. Con­tact: editor@​annapolisspectator.​ca Web­site: http://​www​.annapolis​coun​tyspec​ta​tor​.ca/ Author: Leona Aglukkaq, Min­is­ter of Health Ottawa

30b81e5f11dicali.jpg 150x102 Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations

Con­tin­ued here:
Mar­i­huana for Med­ical Pur­poses Regulations

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