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.

Just Posted

Port Hardy council hesitant to formalize question period in agendas, refers it to committee

In first act as new council, representatives were uncertain about formalizing question periods.

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Mt. Waddington’s Salvation Army releases eye-opening statistics report for 2017

Shelter overnight stays saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Most Read