Medical marijuana and conscience rights

The Interim

Paula Kosalka

Some Canadian physicians are anxious that regulatory changes will pressure doctors to prescribe marijuana. Dr. William Pope, the registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, told the Winnipeg Free Press in January that the college is worried that federal reforms will lead more patients to ask doctors for marijuana. “As far as most of us are concerned, there is really no appropriate prescribing,” he said.

Physicians are now permitted to dispense marijuana with the approval of the province. Patients applying for marijuana access no longer have to submit personal health information to Health Canada. It is also easier for individuals with less serious conditions to get medical marijuana. Pot users will not be able to grow their own marijuana anymore, but will have to buy it from commercial growers licensed by the federal government. On April 1, the new rules came into effect. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, officials predict that the number of cannabis users across the country could rise from 37,000 to 450,000 by 2024 as a result. – [Full text]

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