Pubdate: Thu, 22 Dec 2011
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2011 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Claude Roberto, PHD., President, Edmonton Nerve Pain Association, Alberta


Re: Medical marijuana series, The Journal, Dec. 10 to 12, and "Marijuana as
medicine a complex issue,"  Opinion, Dec. 14.

Congratulations to Sharon Kirkey and Jodie Sinnema for excellent
coverage on medical marijuana. Congratulations to

The Journal for the editorial, which did not criminalize patients
using medical marijuana, and welcome to the tragic politics of chronic
pain in Canada.

On one side we have people with bodies crushed by car accidents or
destroyed by illness or military devices; they use medical marijuana
as a last resource because synthetic marijuana (THC) helps them.

On the other side we have: a lack of training in medical schools on
how to treat chronic pain; a lack of advancement for Alberta
physicians who put their careers at risk if they prescribe medical
marijuana; a lack of specialists and a lack of services with waiting
lists longer than one year; a lack of health-care professionals in
rural areas; a lack of serious research on medical marijuana in
Western Canada; a lack of easy access to THC; a lack of protection for
people growing private medical marijuana; a lack of interest from
governments; a lack of interest from financial institutions because it
is difficult to make money from a plant we can all grow.

All of us should be concerned because the number of pain patients
keeps increasing in Canada, with a growing number of seniors and
patients surviving a terminal illness.

Claude Roberto, PHD,

president, Edmonton ( Alberta) Nerve Pain Association
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