Comment re Dr. Reid’s Statement re the MMRP
Attn: Lucie Boileau,
Communications and Public Outreach
Dear Ms. Boileau:
Could you please ensure that this is forwarded to Dr. Reid. The Licensees of the MMAR have quite a different perspective as to the position of the CMA re Medical Marijuana and she should be aware of our input. The image we get isn’t that flattering, just obstinacy run ridiculous.
Statement from the Canadian Medical Association on new regulations on Medical MarijuanaOTTAWA, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's doctors worry that today's announcement of new regulations to govern the use of medical marijuana ignores the fact that there is no clinical evidence to back up its use as a medical therapy.
1. You automatically discard 5000 years of testimonial advocacy by their predecessors in the profession and insist on valuing only research conducted by Medical Doctors with financing from Big Pharma. Utilization of non-patentable drugs is simply not profitable.
This approach runs contrary to Canadians' position on this issue as reported in an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the CMA earlier this year. The poll found that 85 per cent of Canadians believe that medical marijuana should go through the same rigorous testing and approval as other medicines.
2. You fail to point out that the public knows even less about cannabis than you do and they actually believe that the CMA is acting in the best interests of the patients. Nothing could be further from the truth. An opinion based not on knowledge but on faith in a bunch of money grubbing liars is not worthy of consideration.
Asking physicians to prescribe drugs that have not been clinically tested runs contrary to their training and ethics. Expecting doctors to write prescriptions for marijuana without the existence of such evidence is akin to asking them to work blindfolded and potentially jeopardize the safety of patients.
3. You righteously declare the testimonial evidence of the past bears no weight with the current CMA fixation on Scientific Methodology. Given the amount of literature regarding other scientifically significant discoveries regarding benefits of cannabis for a wide variety of conditions you are insistent that only results from studies yet to be conducted will be considered.
Marijuana is a complex substance with strains that vary greatly in power and effect, but we have no information on potency, dosage or how it interacts with other therapies. The beneficial effects of marijuana have not been rigorously tested and it has a huge potential to cause harm. With the federal government vacating its role, there is no one to certify that the drug will not harm the patient.
Federal rules and regulations dictate that before a drug may be prescribed, rigorous research and testing must be undertaken to establish safety and efficacy - this research includes clinical trials. As a result of the rigorous research requirements, physicians know how much to prescribe, what the benefits are and what the side effects could be. None of that information exists for marijuana. We don't even know what is in the various strains of marijuana.
4. You don’t bother to explain that the only reason for no information is the government failing to spoon feed it to the CMA. You are too lazy and have never taken the initiative over the past twelve years and too short sighted and narrow minded to accept that there is benefit in the use of the ENTIRE cannabis plant. It apparently has never dawned on them to observe patients at large with a specific ailment and document their response to the various hybrid strains that provide symptom relief. That seems a common sense approach and a guide to which strains to examine for the specific cannabinoid component that yields that response. The CMA wants to complicate common sense by starting with a couple of hundred cannabinoids with no known linkage to any specific symptom for any specific disease and would result in a massive research boom for your buddies in academia to tackle the great unknown. Expect results at the next turn of the century!
The Ipsos Reid poll also found that almost eight in 10 Canadians agreed that Health Canada, as the body that approves prescription medicines for safety and efficacy, should maintain its current role in authorizing the use of medical marijuana for patients.
Patients would not want us to prescribe drugs for heart disease, cancer, or any other illness without the scientific evidence to back those drugs up. Why does the federal government want us to do so with marijuana?
5. Because you have no compunction about prescribing your approved “Pharmaceutical Standard Side Effects” of Sativex and Marinol to patients who don’t want them. Side effects are a standard practice in modern pharmacology and the medical and pharmaceutical professions don’t know how to react to a drug that has none.
The use of medical marijuana has grown because there aren't better treatments for people battling chronic pain. This is an area that definitely needs greater attention. The federal government will not help address this lack by abdicating its responsibility to protect the health of Canadians.
Let me be clear that physicians are deeply concerned that many patients have great difficulty in their battles with chronic pain. Clearly there is a need for more effective pain treatments. The CMA has been asking for years that marijuana be treated the same as any other drug and its use backed up by research and clinical trials. The federal government will not help address this lack of evidence by abdicating its responsibility to protect the health of Canadians.
6. Stop the bloody finger pointing. The CMA has no more credibility than our stinking government at this point. As far as evidence goes, does the CMA expect Harper to promote, much less finance anything that resembles Harm Reduction? On the other hand, the Government would be equally right in thinking the CMA would reconsider their blanket damnation of testimonial evidence from generations of ethically superior healers. They actually had a close doctor/patient relationships that went beyond their patients ability to pay. Unlike our current generation of CEO’s.
Dr. Anna Reid
President, Canadian Medical Association
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association