MONTREAL, April 1, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Patients in Québec who use medical cannabis may face new obstacles under new guidelines from the College des Médecins du Quebec (CMQ), according to physicians and advocates at the Medical Cannabis Acccess Society (MCAS).
"There are many aspects of the new guidelines which we endorse, such as: a heavy emphasis on research, physician education, and the provision of standardized screening tools," said Adam Greenblatt, Executive Director of MCAS. "Unfortunately, there are still aspects which could compromise patient care, most notably the restrictions on indications."
The CMQ guidelines emphasize that cannabis is an unrecognized medical treatment, and that it should be considered only as a last resort. The guidelines also currently limit physicians to a short list of conditions for which it can be prescribed.
"Cannabis is used therapeutically in a much broader spectrum of medical conditions than those currently listed by the College," said Dr. Michael Dworkind, MCAS Medical Director and palliative care specialist. "We are concerned that the complexity of these protocols will actually dissuade physicians from getting involved in prescribing medical cannabis, and force patients to access illicit sources for medicine."
"Government and medical associations persist in treating cannabis like a dangerous narcotic, when there is ample evidence that it should be regulated like a Natural Health Product," said Greenblatt. "Many of the new guidelines from the College contradict the spirit of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, and the court rulings which created them."
MCAS looks forward to collaborating with the College des Médecins, and the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, to increase our understanding of cannabis in medicine, and to develop best practices.
The Medical Cannabis Access Society is a non-profit patient resource centre dedicated to facilitating access to cannabis for medical purposes.
SOURCE: Medical Cannabis Access Society
For further information: Adam Greenblatt - Executive Director, 514 830 1331