Legalization of marijuana continues to be a controversial topic worldwide. Some nations allow citizens to smoke marijuana for recreational purposes, some only allow it to be used for medicinal reasons, and some countries continue to outlaw it completely. In Canada, the growth and sale of marijuana is still regulated, but it is available for people who need to use the plant to treat certain medical issues. However, there are strict regulations on medical marijuana, so it is not extremely simple to get it.
The Legality of Marijuana in Canada
The history of marijuana in the nation of California dates back to 1923, when marijuana was added to the Confidential Restricted List in the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill. It remained mostly illegal for decades, though only 2 percent of all drug arrests in Canada were due to marijuana possession. In July of 2001, after decades of illegality, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) allowed people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, there were some concerns that the MMAR were too vague and allowed too many people to abuse marijuana. Therefore, a new set of regulations, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) was enacted in July of 2013. These regulations set up a controlled, commercial industry that provided regulated access to marijuana for people need to use it for medical reasons. These regulations remain active today, and they set up the basis for the legal medical cannabis industry in Canada. For a long time, Canadian laws about marijuana only allowed patients to use dried marijuana, but the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2015 that patients could also buy teas, oils, and edibles from suppliers.
The Regulations on Medical Marijuana in Canada
According to the MMPR, the only people who can produce medical cannabis are licensed providers who belong in the government’s database. These producers undergo a strict application process before they are allowed to provide marijuana to those with a prescription. If a person was previously authorized to possess and produce their own marijuana by the MMAR regulations, they are allowed to continue doing so under a grandfather clause. After a patient gets a medical cannabis prescription from their doctor, they can register with one of the licensed providers from the database and obtain marijuana products for their healthcare needs. At any time, patients can possess 20 times the amount recommended by their doctor, as long as the amount is under 150 grams. Patients who legally get marijuana in Canada typically cannot share their marijuana with others, grow their own marijuana, or make their own oil from marijuana.
How Canadians Get Marijuana
In order to get marijuana for medicinal purposes, a person must show one of the 33 licensed producers in Canada an original medical document by a healthcare practitioner and fill out a registration form. Once the patient is registered as a client at one of the licensed producers, they can have marijuana shipped directly to them from the dispensary. This helps patients to get quality-controlled marijuana even if they live far away from the nearest medical marijuana provider. If they come into contact with a law enforcement official, they can show proof that the marijuana is used for medical purposes. There are many different reasons that a patient may use marijuana, and no doctor has ever been prosecuted in court for filling out a prescription. In general, most marijuana use is prescribed for patients with epileptic seizures, patients dealing with pain from arthritis, a chronic illness, or multiple sclerosis, patients with a lack of appetite due to cancer, anorexia, or HIV/AIDS, and patients with spinal cord injuries. However, marijuana may also be prescribed for patients who have any other debilitating medical condition that might reasonably be aided by marijuana. This can include anything from Alzheimer’s disease to sexual dysfunction. Typically, doctors will start by prescribing their patients a low dosage and then gradually increase the amount of patients show signs of improvement.