Pubdate: Thu, 12 May 2016
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Page: A10
Copyright: 2016 Sandra Graham
Author: Sandra Graham


Re: Troubling Pot Stats, May 7.

I am perplexed at this editorial. Pot is not the problem. The more
alarming stats are those around out-of-control prescribing of opioids,
the addiction to them by pain suffers, and those who are finding,
using and dying from prescribed opioids.

In 2012, the year OxyContin was delisted from provincial drug plans,
18.3 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed in Canada. Last year,
that figure jumped to 21.7 million, according to IMS Brogan, which
tracks the drug industry. OxyContin has included other brand names of
opioids: Hydromorph Contin, OxyNEO, BuTrans, Targin or fentanyl.

Medical marijuana works. I know from personal experience: my mother,
who has had chronic pain for as long as I have known her and has been
on every opioid known, is currently weening off the harsh drugs and
slowly replacing them with pot. It's working. She sleeps. She is
managing her pain. She smiles. If medical marijuana is working for our
vets, why should they not have access for medical purposes?

However, the product should be regulated so it is safe and pure, and
grown by professionals. It should be tax-free like other medicines. It
should be covered by provincial formularies and private insurance. And
a portion of any money raised via taxation when it is legalized for
recreational purposes should go into research for medical purposes.

Sandra Graham, Ottawa  
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