Throughout the entire legalization debate and subsequent policy announcements, there has been one particular group of Canadians that have been more vocal in their anti-cannabis stance than any other. Despite the glaring fact that they are unelected and hold no power or authority over any other Canadian, these people demand and receive concessions from our elected governments, and have their will and beliefs imposed on the rest of us.
I am, of course, taking a swing at the big ugly elephant in the room – Doctors.
Now, anybody who knows me personally is well aware of my dislike of doctors but that’s not what we are talking about today. We are going to look at the senses of self-importance, superiority and arrogance have manifested themselves in the medical ‘culture’ in this country and how the various cooperative organizations have evolved into political and social engineering cabals. Cannabis is only one small area where these groups attempt to influence rules and rights imposed and granted to the rest of us, but it is a serious one and one that affects me personally. I did not elect these people to make decisions for me and their opinion should not be used for that purpose.
The main ‘doctor’s organizations’ are the CMA, or Canadian Medical Association and the various provincial ‘colleges of physicians and surgeons’. We are going to focus on the national CMA, but most points will also apply to most, if not all, provincial colleges. Same monkeys – different circuses.
What is / who are the Canadian Medical Association? The CMA is made up of student, resident, practising and retired physicians who pay an annual fee to belong. They must first join their respective provincial physician colleges. Membership entitles doctors to discounts on educational material and training, travel and hotels and various other perks. It’s board is elected by the membership from within. Before I get into some of the things attempted by the CMA to influence legal cannabis, I need to point out a glaring discrepancy between two CMA websites that highlights the absolute idiocy of any government in listening to anything they have to say.
On a website titled “CMA Member Benefits” https://www.cma.ca/En/Pages/member-benefits.aspx) I find this statement : “The CMA is driving big change, advocating on issues like seniors care, cannabis, opioids and small business tax reform so that Canadians can receive the best care possible.” and on another titled ‘Cannabis and the CMA’ (https://www.cma.ca/En/Pages/cannabis-and-the-cma.aspx) “Many physicians feel uncomfortable prescribing a substance that hasn’t undergone the same regulatory review processes required for all other prescription medicines.”
So which is it? Are they ‘advocating for cannabis’, ‘driving big change’ and ‘giving Canadians the best care possible’ or are they continuing the tired old reefer-madness attitude and policies they have always held? I guess it depends on which CMA link you click on.
Cannabis research for medical use has been occurring for decades in Canada and longer elsewhere in the world. Canada has had a medical cannabis program for 17 years. Israel, for example, has a robust and extremely advanced scientific community studying every molecule of the plant and that research is readily available to anyone who cares to educate themselves. An admission by the CMA that Canadian doctors lack the knowledge is an admission they are to lazy or disinterested in the subject or their patients to bother reading. More importantly, if they lack the information, how can they come out against it’s use or make claims about it’s effects?
Just what have the Doctor members of CMA said about cannabis, and why would you not be outraged at their interference? The CMA issued a statement to the Legalization Task Force (https://www.cma.ca/En/Lists/Medias/cma-statement-legalization-of-marijuana.pdf) which began with their obvious reluctant acceptance that they failed at preventing legal recreational use “The CMA’s submission to the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation is framed by the fundamental position that the legalization of marijuana is a societal prerogative; the CMA is not weighing in on this decision as it has already been made” . They then list off a half-dozen or so recommendations to save society from themselves.
The CMA recommendations build on Canada’s experience regulating alcohol and tobacco. The legalization framework must include: • Marketing and packaging restrictions • Restrictions on the types of products and their potency • Prohibiting home cultivation • Expanding access to support services such as mental health and substance use services • Expanding access to training programs in addiction medicine, and • Making extensive educational resources on the risks of harm to the user and others available
Contemplate these recommendations and then ask yourself when you gave these folks permission to advise government on your rights.”Must include” were their words. Excuse me? Remember, these are unelected doctors earning their living through tax dollars telling government what you should be able to do. Why would a doctor concern themselves with what kind of plants someone is growing? Did I mention the arrogance that infests the profession? What are their recommendations on brewing beer and wine at home?
They talk about marketing and packaging, an important issue, but not one I want a doctor deciding on. That’s just ridiculous – they could be using that time to educate themselves on cannabis.. Have you noticed the colouful packaging adorning every bottle or can of alcohol and how it is prominently displayed in shop windows? Have you also noticed alcohol is the drug of choice for most youth and results in hundreds of accidental deaths and injuries each year? The 5-hour energy drinks on the counter of every gas station and convenience store are infinitely more addictive and habit forming than cannabis and the biggest customers are students. Why are Canadian doctors so scared of a plant?
The next one is just bizarre given it is coming from our leading medical voices – it sounds more like a plug for increased funding for doctors. What does mental health help have to do with cannabis? There is no link or correlation between the two. Unlike opiods and chemicals such as meth which cause damage to brain tissue, cannabinoids are found naturally in humans and does not cause mental illness. The following one is more of the same, this time focusing on non-existent addiction. The facts are out there and readily accessible showing caffeine is many times more addictive than cannabis. According to the US Bureau of Mortality Statistics, between 1000 and 10000 people in the US die from long term caffeine use every year. According to the same source, mortality from cannabis use remains at zero. ( https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2016/04/20/cannabis-vs-caffeine-which-is-safer-a-cup-of-coffee-or-a-puff-of-weed/)
Repeatedly, it seems, facts are not important to doctors when they are pushing an agenda. That should have every Canadian scared.
In an article published in May,2017, Dr. Diane Kelsall wrote an editorial for the CMA in which she implored the federal Liberals to stop legalization to protect the children. (https://www.pressreader.com/canada/national-post-latest-edition/20170529/281646780092680)
“Simply put, cannabis should not be used by young people” was her profound statement in the opening paragraphs. Wow! One can’t help but wonder if she came up with that all by herself. Too bad she couldn’t use some common sense before continuing. Legalization is for adults, silly rabbit!
I urge you to take several large bong hits and read the entire article – it’s great comedy.
I don’t know about you, but I am about full of hearing about how cannabis is going to hurt our kids. Absolute rubbish. They fail to address the obvious facts being Canada is among the biggest consumers of cannabis in the world and prohibition has not stopped any minor from acquiring weed in it’s 90 year history .I had no problem buying weed at high school in 1978, so clearly prohibition didn’t work, why do doctors think continuing the status quo will make things better? They forgot to explain how cannabis legalization will INCREASE risk to children – hell, they can’t even provide evidence that cannabis has ever caused harm to anybody. Recreational cannabis use is not a new activity and legalization will take sales away from the school yards and into government regulated stores. It won’t stop underage use just like alcohol regulations don’t stop kids from drinking, but it will make it easier to catch those who sell to youth. The only ones opposing regulation are those who profit from the illegal cultivation and sale, much like I expect the moonshiner’s did 100 years ago when prohibition ended. And, apparently, doctors.
Canada has had a legal medical cannabis program since 2001 and it now has over 200,000 registered patients. If Canadian doctors and researchers had been interested enough to care, they would have had 18 years and thousands of patients to study the long term benefits and effects of cannabis use in which to form an educated opinion. Instead they took the lead from Health Canada and stuck their heads in the sand by refusing to acknowledge cannabis as a medicine. Now they expect the public to accept their recommendations for recreational use. An article from the Alberta college of Family Physicians published in March of this year actually claims medical marijuana causes harm.( https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-doctor-groups-are-warning-about-the-adverse-effects-of-cannabis) How they reached that conclusion while admitting to not doing any research is a mystery, but like I mentioned, facts don’t seem to hold much importance. Their list of ‘harms’ include dizziness, hallucinations, paranoia and low blood pressure and question it’s effectiveness against chronic pain. Contrast this to the side effects from the prescription pain killers such as oxycodone and the current opiod crisis that was precipitated by the over prescribing of pain drugs. Doctors are responsible for thousands of Canadian overdose deaths and the massive addiction problems plaguing our cities, yet here they are focusing their time and energy on a harmless and beneficial plant. Denying personal responsibility is also a nasty trait of the medical profession.
This site contains a list of the cannabis policies of the various provincial colleges (https://www.cfpc.ca/uploadedFiles/Publications/_PDFs/FMRAC_MMPR.pdf) and is an interesting read. Interestingly opinions vary, but the underlying theme was they lack the knowledge needed to safely prescribe cannabis. Cannabis is non-addictive, has no major side effects and does not pose a risk of overdose. These same doctors gleefully dish out pills for every imagined ailment and many have severe adverse effects on patients. I already mentioned the doctor prescribed opiod overdose crisis in the previous paragraph, but almost every medication has a negative – again why the focus and paranoia on a plant by supposedly educated professionals?
Let’s give the doctors the benefit of the doubt for a second and assume they are being sincere when they blame their aversion to a plant on poor education, that doesn’t explain there willingness and even eagerness to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs when they know there can be severe negative health effects to the patient. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to reach the conclusion that prescribing dried flowers with no documented history of harm is infinitely safer than prescribing pills that come with warnings of severe reaction or death on the label, so that argument falls apart rather quickly.
What is not talked about on any CMA site is the gifts and perks given to physicians by the pharmaceutical drug companies whose products they prescribe. Could that have been the reason for the over-prescribing of Oxycodone and other prescription opiods, depression and anxiety drugs? Could it also be the reason for their unwillingness to prescribe cannabis? It certainly raises a lot of questions and suspicions, don’t it.
We, the Canadian public, do not accept the undemocratic authority given to physicians in this country and demand our elected officials give ordinary Canadians the same voice as these unelected and unwanted ‘spokes people’. Doctors should be forbidden from engaging in political discussions as an organized group and have their access to government limited and lowered to meet the level of access granted to myself. The arrogance and self-importance is evident in every doctors office and hospital in the country and when they congregate into organizations such as the CMA, they develop a gang mentality and a false sense of authority over us lower life forms. Kinda like MADD Canada. I laugh at their stupidity, but some of our dumber politicians actually look to these fools for advice. It’s long past time to put these doctors on the same level as other civil servants – they call themselves small business owners, yet 100% of their income is from our tax dollars. Either way, they are no more or less important or special than you, me or the meter maid and the practice of treating them as though they were some kind of gods or all-knowing miracle worker needs to end. Talk to your doctor about cannabis and don’t take his or her ignorance as an excuse for them to ignore your request. Give them an education and if they refuse to listen file a complaint. They took an oath to provide the safest, most effective care to their patients. They have no evidence that cannabis is not safe and if the patient gets relief from it’s use, that would confirm it’s effectiveness. To prescribe a pharmaceutical with known risks and side effects while dismissing a safe alternative is blatantly contrary to that oath.
In short, do not trust everything a doctor tells you and always question their motives. And never, ever believe anything that comes from the CMA or any physicians college as it most likely is designed to further a political or financial objective and not an accurate statement on health risks.