Thursday, 24 November 2016

Doctors Bridging the Gap


I took part in attending our local Health City event on Tuesday.  It was a bit of a rally, a call to action to members of the Healthcare industry in Ontario.  Our single-payer healthcare system in Ontario is at risk.  Privatization of all kinds of industries is always edging at us, and now the Ontario Government has put forth  Bill 41.

Please sign this online petition #CareNotCuts.  I listened as a black-suited bureacrat used words like "targets" and "corporate model" to explain how less administration will mean better patient care. Let's be real here.  None of us are fooled.  I think the patients would agree that letting valuable healthcare workers go in the process is not acceptable.  Cut costs from above, not below.

My main motivation for attendance was an info session on Medical Cannabis with Psychotherapist Dr. Janet McCulloch.  As you can read by her bio Dr. McCulloch specializes in Neurofeedback and has much experience with trauma and PTSD.  According to google, neurofeedback is defined as "a computer-aided training method in which selected parameters of the patient´s own brain activity, which can normally not be perceived, are made visible to the patient. Via monitor and loudspeaker the brain is shown what it is doing at the moment (feedback)."

Dr. McCulloch gave me great hope on Tuesday.  She held up her fingers in the peace sign and asked us if we knew what that meant.  There was silence so I said, "Peace!".  Without missing a beat she explained that without peace in your life, in your outlook, in your thoughts ... you can never be mentally healthy. She gave us a list of things that do help PTSD, and Doctors are not on the list. Nor are SSRI's or other pharmaceuticals.  The list included exercise, healthy relationships, pets, nature, and Cannabis.

If you were to begin today to learn about Medical Cannabis, you'd think that the 30+ Licensed Producers growing our medicine started things.  But you'd be wrong.  This plant dates back to pyramids and mummies and has stayed with humanity until today.  For some the plant is taboo; while for others it's a way of life.  Dr. McCulloch gave credit where credit is due.  She feels that it is thanks to the grassroots movement of patients that we realize today that Cannabis is medicine. These are patients who took their health into their own hands after being prescribed too many pills.  She said that she feels immense guilt for prescribing so many neuroleptics and benzos.  This Doctor and others like her could bridge the gap between we the patient and the medical industry.  As one Veteran in attendance stated, there is a massive need for a team of Doctors to teach other Doctors about Cannabis.  As one local Doctor stated simply, "it's just another medicine.  Once you understand it, it's just prescribing."

PTSD, trauma, and depression need treatment.  The conventional therapies for these conditions vary in action, none of which are successful for everyone.  For some of us, none work.  In my own words, I'd say that those medicines are gut-sterilizing, orgasm-stealing, zombifyers.  I know from experience. So, in the absence of safe and effective conventional meds, the grassroots movement of cannabis ingesting humans have proven time and time again that this plant is medicine.  It's amazing the ways patients are using Cannabis to heal themselves.  Corrie Yellend cured her anal and skin cancer with Cannabis oil infused suppositories that she made in her kitchen and stored in her freezer.  Tommy Chong uses them, countless others too.  Brave Mykayla is now in remission from Leukemia because Cannabis oil was used in conjunction with conventional treatments.  Coltyn Turner is in remission from debilitating Crohn's disease. And the three Veterans who were also in attendance at this talk prove to themselves, their families, and their Doctors that Cannabis treats PTSD every day.

A separation and a growing animosity exists between many patients and Doctors.  There is a gap that needs to be bridged.  In speaking to fellow Cannabis patients, I sometimes feel like they're stuck in fight mode.  They don't realize we've won and are winning.  Some go to well-meaning Cannabis clinics and berate the very Doctors who have put their licenses on the line for us.  We need to work like Cannabinoids ... that is better as a team!





Wednesday, 16 November 2016

CAA & Modern-Day Reefer Madness

**This piece was featured here on the cannabis life network site.

We live within days of denial.  It's everywhere that it shouldn't be, like in the making of regulation.
One topic where evidence appears elusive, is the attempt to prove or disprove that recreational Cannabis legalization will lead to more impaired driving.  Now, you'll never hear me say that driving while under the influence of anything is wise.  But as someone who was a recreational cannabis user who doesn't have a driver's license, I shudder to think that this kind of fear tactic will influence future regulation for me and the millions of others who don't even drive.  What are these deniers trying to gain here?  Is their end-game to slow or stop legalization of this safe plant?

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has decided to be the latest to raise the red flag of fear where this is concerned, and just in time as our legalization task force readies itself to present a committee report at month's end.  Thing is, the CAA may have opened up a can o' worms it didn't expect.  Kind of like when Dr. Lester Grinspoon attempted to prove cannabis was a danger to health and kind of like when Sanjay Gupta looked closer at Cannabis and seizures.  They all realized that the evidence proves them wrong.  In 1971 Grinspoon wrote the much praised "Marihuana Reconsidered", and in 2013 Gupta began the first of three amazing documentaries titled Weed, Weed 2, and Weed 3. And still bureaucrats and governments say, "evidence?  what evidence?".

Out of this can of worms climbs a 2015 study that has been called "the most precisely controlled study of its kind yet conducted".  Organized by the National U.S. Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this 20 month, 10,000 participant study found no "significant increased risk of crash involvement from cannabis use".  And another wiggles out, this one from 2010 deemed "the largest population-based study involving nine European Union countries" where the risk for Cannabis impairment was deemed "not statistically significant".

When I speak on this topic, I am all about questions with few answers.  However, it is a fact that new users feel stronger impairment than regular and experienced users.  This is one way that I dare say the CPSO's recommendation to cap thc levels of new users, may help us out.  With thc being the only psychoactive compound in the plant, it goes to reason that controlling its levels will deter impairment from the source.

When Irvin Rosenfeld gets his tin of pre-rolled doobies from the U.S. Federal Government each month, it has no driving impairment warnings on it.  In the documentary "In Pot We Trust", you can see Irven smoking a doobie like a cigarette as he drives down the road.  He doesn't feel impaired, he feels medicated.  The stresses and stiffness, the pain and traumatic memories aren't clawing him when he's medicated.  Similarly I look at patients with Parkinson's, any form of Palsy, Tourettes, or stutters ... when medicated they are most definitely better drivers because they have no tremors or spasms! Anxiety meds are fine to drive on, but CBD only strains impair me?  CBD is an anxiolytic drug that is replacing all kinds of antidepressants and benzos on the daily with few to no negative side effects.

In the end, I pray that we be real about this or we're going to effectively ground thousands of people from driving and living active lives.  Is this what CAA wants?  Don't they profit from insuring drivers?  Fewer drivers means fewer insured subjects and that's bad for their bottom line.  Of course if their motivation is to keep legalization from happening, they can simply take a seat.  The train to Legalizationville has lost its breaks.


Monday, 7 November 2016

Canadians Are Re-Claiming Their Health


Depression of the central nervous system is a risk of prescription opioid pain killers and many other commonly prescribed medications.  Breathing slows, heart rate slows, consciousness is lost, death or coma results.  That's a serious side effect.

There are no cannabinoid receptors in the brain stem so Cannabis doesn't do this and yet we're still trying to decide if it's safe enough to legalize.

Opioid pain killers are killing people.  Ironic isn't that?  They were so good at killing the pain and now they're killing everyone.  The problem is so big that the CPSO is investigating 86 doctors who were found to be major over-prescribers.  Those same doctors likely refuse to refer their pain patients to Cannabis clinics every day.

And of course the problem is multi-faceted.  Many chronic pain-sufferers are now stressed that this and any other push to reprimand over-prescribers would result in them being cut off.  These are people who's pain rules their lives.  These are people who would not be able to function without pain medication.  And they are people who would be forced to look elsewhere were they to be cut-off.

The problem starts somewhere though, and that's where it must be curbed.  No one having dental surgery requires an opioid medication though many are told even before the surgery date that they'll get Percocet for the pain.  I myself was given Tramadol for a gall bladder surgery that for many others required mere Ibuprofen.  It blows my mind that the medical industry can't see the great dangers in introducing opioids to the young and growing mind.  Yet no care is really given to that.
What a sad irony when you think about the fact that Ottawa's health agency is recommending that the minimum age for recreational cannabis will be 25.  That's six years after one is allowed to legally ingest alcohol, from which 75,000 Canadians die every year.

Introducing opioids to the growing mind is a recipe for addiction if you ask me.  Opioids can feel good. Opioids can numb feelings and emotions and traumas. Opioids are reverse-engineered morphine.  This is serious shit and yet many over-prescribers only see opioids as pain killing medicine, as though none other exist.  Those doctors need to read a book!  I see crystal clearly how dangerous it would be to allow any youth to feel something that can do so much.  Are doctors afraid to say no?  Are they so soft to pressure?  From a very early age, kids learn from older kids how good opioids feel.  Curiosity kills.

Thousands and thousands of chronic pain sufferers all over Canada are singing the same tune. They're tired of opioids and other harmful meds.  They're tired of risking their health.  They're tired of trading pain relief for nausea or constipation or the inability to fully function!  To these people, the term "natural" is a positive. They've tried the pills, and they are now convinced that their biology can't accept only pills anymore.

Canadians are finding their voices and many are stopping at nothing to learn about Cannabinoid therapy and the ACMPR.  If we keep up the push and keep on educating, the medical industry and the doctors therein will have no choice than to comply with patient referral requests.  Every new patient starts with the hope of one day using only this natural medicine to ease many of their ills.  And our nation's highest court backs the desire to do this.

Death: The Side Effect to Top Them All


Depression of the central nervous system is a risk of prescription opioid pain killers and many other commonly prescribed medications.  Breathing slows, heart rate slows, consciousness is lost, death or coma results.  That's a serious side effect.

Cannabis doesn't do this and yet we're still trying to decide if it's safe enough to legalize.

Opioid pain killers are killing people.  Ironic isn't that?  They were so good at killing the pain and now they're killing everyone.  The problem is so big that the CPSO is investigating 86 doctors who were found to be major over-prescribers.  Those same doctors likely refuse to refer their pain patients to Cannabis clinics every day.

And of course the problem is multi-faceted.  Many chronic pain-sufferers are now stressed that this and any other push to reprimand over-prescribers would result in them being cut off.  These are people who's pain rules their lives.  These are people who would not be able to function without pain medication.  And they are people who would be forced to look elsewhere were they to be cut-off.

The problem starts somewhere though, and that's where it must be curbed.  No one having dental surgery requires an opioid medication though many are told even before the surgery date that they'll get Percocet for the pain.  I myself was given Tramadol for a gall bladder surgery that for many others required mere Ibuprofen.  It blows my mind that the medical industry can't see the great dangers in introducing opioids to the young and growing mind.  Yet no care is really given to that.
What a sad irony when you think about the fact that Ottawa's health agency is recommending that the minimum age for recreational cannabis will be 25.  That's six years after one is allowed to legally ingest alcohol, from which 75,000 Canadians die every year.

Introducing opioids to the growing mind is a recipe for addiction if you ask me.  Opioids can feel good. Opioids can numb feelings and emotions and traumas. Opioids are reverse-engineered morphine.  This is serious shit and yet many over-prescribers only see opioids as pain killing medicine, as though none other exist.  Those doctors need to read a book!  I see crystal clearly how dangerous it would be to allow any youth to feel something that can do so much.  Are doctors afraid to say no?  Are they so soft to pressure?  From a very early age, kids learn from older kids how good opioids feel.  Curiosity kills.

Thousands and thousands of chronic pain sufferers all over Canada are singing the same tune. They're tired of opioids and other harmful meds.  They're tired of risking their health.  They're tired of trading pain relief for nausea or constipation or the inability to fully function!  To these people, the term "natural" is a positive. They've tried the pills, and they are now convinced that their biology can't accept only pills anymore.

Canadians are finding their voices and many are stopping at nothing to learn about Cannabinoid therapy and the ACMPR.  If we keep up the push and keep on educating, the medical industry and the doctors therein will have no choice than to comply with patient referral requests.  Every new patient starts with the hope of one day losing their fear of that one last side effect:  death.