The Canadian Medical Association has called for the end of the medical cannabis system once legalization happens on October 17.
Dr. Jeff Blackmer, vice-president of medical professionalism, said that although some doctors are comfortable with the idea of medical marijuana, the profession as a whole has struggled with the concept.
He says that this is because of “the lack of evidence, the lack of scientific studies showing it actually works, the lack of knowledge around dosing and interactions with other medications… all these types of things”. He adds, “If anyone can go down to the local dispensary and get cannabis, there’s really no need for a separate medical authorization system. You really don’t need to have people going to their doctors because anyone who has a medical condition and thinks they might benefit from it can go ahead and try it. And there’s nothing to stop them from asking their doctor, ‘might it work for this condition,’ or ‘do you have any idea about what doses I should use,’ or these types of things.”
There’s really no need for a separate medical authorization system.
Will Legal Recreational Use Overtake Medical?
Blackmer says that the number of authorizations for medical use has declined in jurisdictions where cannabis has been legalized, and he anticipates the same trend in Canada. He acknowledges that some physicians think that it has a place among treatment options, but for “the vast majority of physicians who are uncomfortable”, it means their patients can seek it out from a legal recreational cannabis store themselves and see how it works.