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Medical Marijuana Use in Canada: How Does It Affect You

Marijuana or cannabis has remained part of man’s medicine chest for centuries. The term medical marijuana is used in reference to using extracts of this herb or the whole unprocessed plant to treat a disease or its symptoms. This is because the plant is known to contain chemicals that could assist in treating a range of symptoms or illnesses.

The Government of Canada in June 2013 began the implementation of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). However, as of August 24, 2016, the MMPR was replaced by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Under the provisions of the ACMPR, individuals having a medical need could now access quality-controlled dried cannabis produced under sanitary and secure conditions.Medical Cannabis Benefits

From assisting in fighting glaucoma to stopping the spread of cancer, to managing epileptic seizures to slowing Alzheimer’s disease to relieving arthritis pain, and indeed many more medical conditions scientific researchers have confirmed the marijuana effectiveness.

Medical marijuana has been employed for stimulating appetite in HIV/AIDS patients and others suffering from a suppressed appetite due to treatment or a medical condition. Many times, medical cannabisis frequently used for treating chemotherapy induced nausea.

Medical marijuana can be used in a number of different forms. The patient can smoke it, ingest as a pill, or added to food stuffs such as chocolate bars, cookies or brownies. It can also be vaporized.

The Individual And Medical Cannabis

At least two active chemicals contained in marijuana are believed to have medicinal uses. These are cannabidiol (CBD) — that appears to impact the brain without triggering a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — that has pain relieving properties.

As from August 24, 2016, individuals in Canada who have a medical need, and who are in possession of the necessary authorization from their health care practitioner can now access medical cannabis.

The Role Of Law Enforcement Agencies

The basic role of law enforcement remains unchanged. Law enforcement officials still retain their central role in enforcing the provisions of the ACMPR. This includes confirming whether individuals in possession, producing, transporting, selling, providing, shipping or delivering cannabis are operating within the confines of the framework provided by the ACMPR.

Role of Health Care Practitioners

The health care practitioner’s role also remains unchanged under the ACMPR provisions. Similar to the earlier regulations under Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), any individual requiring cannabis for medical purposes must first seek a medical document granted by a health care practitioner.


Access to medical marijuana is only permitted in Canada under the ACMPR terms and conditions. Under the ACMPR program, the decision to use medical marijuana now lies between the physician and the patient alone. Storefronts that sell cannabis known as “compassion clubs” and “dispensaries” are not legalized to sell marijuana for medical or indeed any other uses.

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