Health Canada repeated past warnings today that marijuana use is risky

Feds appeal medical marijuana injunction

Doctors to get guidance, oversight on pot prescriptions, Health Minister Rona Ambrose says

The federal government will appeal a March 21 court injunction that lets authorized patients temporarily keep growing their own medical marijuana past April 1, when the old system was to be outlawed.

The move by Health Canada keeps thousands of medical marijuana users off balance as to how long they can continue home growing under personal production licences.

They had been under a federal directive to stop growing, destroy any unused pot and confirm in writing by April 30 they had done so or face potential police enforcement.

Users behind a constitutional challenge of the new medical marijuana rules fear higher prices and lower quality pot under the new system of regulated commercial producers.

It’s unclear how quickly an appeal of the injunction will be heard, but the broader case is expected to go to trial sometime this year.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Monday she is working with organizations of health professionals to address their concerns about the lack of dosage guidelines and appropriate health cautions for medical marijuana use.

“They want clearer guidance on safety and effectiveness and want authorizations to be monitored,” Ambrose said.

She said it’s expected new measures and direction on dosage, educational materials and increased oversight will cut the risk of patients being harmed by being over-prescribed medical pot.

“I want to emphasize that marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada. Health Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes.”

Regulators will get data from licensed producers on how much pot each doctor prescribes to patients.

Youth are especially susceptible to potential risks from marijuana use, according to Health Canada, which lists damage to mental function and mental health, including psychosis and schizophrenia.

Sensible BC is planning an April 1 day of protest against the medical marijuana changes.

Organizer Dana Larsen welcomed Ottawa’s move to provide more information on marijuana to doctors and nurses, but remained sharply critical of the planned shift to commercial production.

“Minister Ambrose still has not addressed the fact that the new regulations are going to price thousands of patients out of the market for their medicine.”

Various municipalities opposed the outgoing system of letting users grow their own pot or have other designated growers do it for them, citing fire and other safety risks.

The injunction doesn’t stop the launch of new commercial pot producers, but it may reduce the initial size of their market if many users don’t have to start buying from them.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C. drive-in theatre shuts down to await appeal of car limits, concession rules

Business owner Jay Daulat voluntarily closed down the theatre awaiting a health ministry decision

Most Read