How willing are naturopaths in Canada to sign medical marijuana forms?
February 21, 2007 7:40 PM   Subscribe

What are your experiences with getting a naturopath to sign a form stating that "cannabis may have therapeutic value for [me]" in order to apply for compassion club membership?

I'm in Toronto, and am aware that the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors "supports the medicinal use of marijuana". Would most naturopaths be willing to accept the cost of a session to sign such a form? I'm not interested in regular naturopathic treatment or anything like that. Would "sleeping problems" and "appetite problems" for which I would "prefer a natural remedy" suffice?

More specific information can be sent (anonymous e-mails are fine) to
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
If you have a legitimate medical need for it, see a real doctor (not least so that if the legitimacy of your 'prescription' is ever challenged, you can say it was signed by a real doctor). If you don't have a legitimate medical need for it, don't get the form signed at all. All discussions of the Nanny-state's attitudes toward marijuana aside, this is the kind of crap that is used to argue against making medical use legal.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:22 PM on February 21, 2007

Well, I'm sure there are a handful of health professionals that would actually be willing to overlook integrity and ethics for the right price. Just a matter of finding one. But I don't recommend that sort of thing.

I'm afraid I come in on the conservative end of things when it comes to recreational drug use-- that is to say, I wouldn't do it myself-- but that being said, I do recognize that there are legitimate and beneficial medical uses for marijuana. However, spaceman_spiff is absolutely correct in noting that folks that abuse the system (not saying you are one of them, though you strongly imply that you'd like to be one) just prove to the naysayers that purported medicinal uses of marijuana is just a front. Please don't make matters worse for those that really need the drug.
posted by lou at 8:56 PM on February 21, 2007

My kid got his by asking one of the 'kind' Dr.s at the medstop.
posted by hortense at 8:59 PM on February 21, 2007

Yeah, what everyone else said. People have fought their entire lives to grant the sick access to medical marijuana -- please don't undermine their efforts by flouting the law that they worked so hard to build. Unless you have an actual medical problem, please buy your bud on the street like everyone else!
posted by vorfeed at 9:10 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you have a genuine problem with any health ailment that cannabis is a known treatment for, and can provide any medical history on it, you shouldn't have any problem. If not, remember that Canadian marijuana laws aren't particularly harsh, especially in Ontario. Last I heard, they don't even have applicable laws for small amounts.

Still, if you insist on going through a naturopath for medical marijuana for nonexistent problems, it's probably a lot like doctor shopping in the US for painkillers. Just like Rush Limbaugh.
posted by Saydur at 10:41 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

People operating these clubs face legal difficulties, threats from criminals, etc. to make marijuana available to sick people. Consider some of these as addressed here. What you are proposing to do is to use a resource meant for sick people for your own convenience. If you can't hack the legal risks of getting your supplies for recreational smoking through traditional avenues, give it up. (I'm as pro-pot as they come, BTW. What you are proposing is wrong).
posted by nanojath at 10:43 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

In complete agreement with nanojath et al. I've got no probs with smoking pot, but you are planning on abusing a system which is on shaky ground to begin and risk turning public sentiment against it. These are people who truly need pot for a medical condition, and could be 60 year old grandmothers who are unable to score the odd spliff from a friend. Unless you too are in that situation, get your dope the way the rest of us do until the Canadian govt comes around (though thanks to the US's threats to search every car crossing the border if we ever do legalize dope, that's prob not going to happen any time soon).
posted by modernnomad at 7:23 AM on February 22, 2007

I'd love to help here but don't have any personal knowledge of the Canadian system. However this website looks like a good place to start. They have a list of compassion clubs and a downloadable application to Possess Marijuana PDF form and a discussion forum where you might get more helpful answers than here
posted by petsounds at 8:25 AM on February 22, 2007

remember that Canadian marijuana laws aren't particularly harsh, especially in Ontario. Last I heard, they don't even have applicable laws for small amounts

Negative. Section 4 of the CDSA had been struck down in the Parker case, when it was ruled to have violated the Charter rights of Terry Parker, an epileptic, by creating an absolute prohibition on possession and cultivation of marijuana without a medical exception. 12 months later, the courts found that the government had failed to provide adequately for medical exceptions in terms of source and supply and there was a brief period where s.4 was inoperative.

That was then. Section 4 today has the full force of law, and arrests and prosecutions are being carried out for relatively small amounts of marijuana, which remains a Schedule II substance. The Conservative government meanwhile has ended speculation regarding decriminalization. If anything, they will likely stiffen penalties.
posted by dreamsign at 11:19 AM on February 22, 2007

Speaking from personal experience, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) are quite stringent and require, among other things, a declaration from a licensed medical practitioner or specialist that the applicant fit one of three categories:

1 ) those with a terminal illness, with a prognosis of less than 12 months to live

2) those with specific symptoms, such as severe pain, associated with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and disease, AIDS/HIV, severe forms of arthritis and epilepsy

3) those with symptoms from another serious medical condition not covered in the first two categories.

I am not certain if Naturopathic practioners fit Health Canada's description of a "licensed medical practioner or specialist".

If your symptoms are derivative of a debilitating medical condition, you may qualify as a category three applicant.

I feel compelled to add, though, that if you do not fit any of the categories that Health Canada has defined, please do not pursue access to medical marijuana. Any abuse of this system will only make it more difficult for those who do qualify and rely on marijuana to alleviate their conditions, to have access to it.

For more information you can access Health Canada's Acts and Regulations page.
posted by Isosceles at 3:04 PM on February 22, 2007

« Older Quelle Coincidence?   |   As a non-runner I want to run a half marathon Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.