Medical Marijuana

Posted on June 5th, 2009 in Announcements by Eric

Marijuana has been used for centuries for a wide variety of purposes ranging from recreational, to industrial, to, of course, a wide variety of medicinal purposes.

Despite having many well known and documented medical benefits, marijuana is still a highly controlled medicinal product in Canada.  It is however legal to use marijuana for medical purposes in Canada if you meet certain requirements, and obtain an exemption from the Canadian Government allowing you to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.

There are two broad categories of medical conditions that can allow a person to use medical marijuana in Canada

Note: The following information is extracted directly from Health Canada’s Medical Marijuana information website:

Category 1: People requiring ‘end of life care’, or who suffer from specific debilitating diseases

  • Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis;
  • Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord injury;
  • Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from spinal cord disease;
  • Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from cancer;
  • Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from HIV/AIDS infection;
  • Severe pain from severe forms of arthritis; or
  • Seizures from epilepsy.

Category 2: This category is for applicants who have debilitating symptom(s) of medical condition(s), other than those described in Category 1.   In this case people who suffer debilitating symptoms can apply to obtain an Authorization to Possess dried marihuana for medical purposes, if a specialist confirms the diagnosis and that conventional treatments have failed or judged inappropriate to relieve symptoms of the medical condition. While an assessment of the applicant’s case by a specialist is required, the treating physician, whether or not a specialist, can sign the medical declaration.

In order to obtain an exemption (permission to use marijuana for medical purposes), you need to fill out several forms and send them off to Health Canada.  To make that easier for you we’ve provided a page linking to all the required forms so you can simply download them.

Get the Medical Marijuana Forms

2 Responses to 'Medical Marijuana'

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  1. Calvin Chung said,

    on June 29th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Hi, I was wondering if a physician’s approval is required before applying for medicinal marijuana from Health Canada.(in Saskatoon)

  2. Eric said,

    on August 4th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    The simple answer is yes, you do. Although I’m not sure I’d use the word approval. They need to agree that your symptoms match those set out by Health Canada, and that other treatments won’t or don’t work.

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