The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recently announced that it supports the elimination of the current medical cannabis system once federal legalization is implemented in October. The rationale is “the lack of evidence, the lack of scientific studies showing it actually works, the lack of knowledge around dosing and interactions with other medications.”
The CMA’s reservation with cannabis as a safe and effective therapeutic option mirrors concerns within the medical community. Cannabis is known to be cognitively impairing, and scientific research on its chronic use is limited. It is also well established that cannabis may have deleterious effects in the neurologic development of the central nervous system, which does not fully mature until 25 years of age. This uncertainty, combined with an aggressive timeline for legalized consumption, has handcuffed health care providers, who possess varying degrees of comfort with prescribing medicinal marijuana.
However, with its position, the CMA has not only demonstrated its lack of willingness to learn about this growing field, it has abandoned physicians who will invariably field more inquiries about cannabis from patients. This is especially problematic given the growing scope of cannabis as a therapeutic option in conditions including epilephuman sy and spasticity.
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