I work at a Cannabis Clinic that follows all of the rules. Our Doctors get paid through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (aka OHIP) to assess patients only after copious amounts of supporting documents are received. Heck, sometimes I think we ask for more just to ask for more!
This is because our Doctors are also overly scrutinized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (aka CPSO). Capping THC and limiting grams per day keeps them on their toes and ever-aware that they’re risking their license to help strangers use a plant.
A friend has been going through a stressful time at work. Depression is ever close at hand in times like these so he went to his Doctor for help. His Doctor couldn’t see him, so another stepped in. She gave him Clonazepam for immediate effect.
Immediate effect or immediate addiction?
What’s more curious is this friend hadn’t been to the Doctor this one replaced in 25 years. There was no relevant medical history, no supporting documents to prove diagnosis or need for medication at all, and she gave him one of the most addictive, sedative, and damaging meds created.
If this guy came to my Cannabis Clinic, he would never have been booked for an assessment. We’d make a file for him and we’d send requests for information to his Doctor, but no visits means no treatment notes, no medical history at all. To be prescribed medical Cannabis you need relevant medical history and a clear diagnosis even though by toxicity cannabis is safer than water.
What’s the difference between Clonazepam and Cannabis? A Drug Identification Number or DIN.
The DIN is the medical industry’s way of identifying drugs. To get a DIN, the drug has to go through rigorous testing and studies so that its effects, side effects, and contraindications are known.
So she knew Clonazepam is highly addictive, and that still didn’t deter this Doctor from prescribing it to my friend. Why is that? Because with that DIN all she has to say is that the patient needed an anxiolytic, which means it treats anxiety. The DIN protects the Doctor and the Pharmacist goes over risks and contraindications. Easy-peasy.
The DIN is a dangerous safety net that allows too many of us to be harmed and addicted to meds that do no good.
Cannabis on the other hand doesn’t have a DIN and if you talk to most Doctors outside of the Cannabis industry, they’ll tell you there are no studies. Absolute nonsense. Humanity has been doing a Cannabis study for the past 5000 years. And guess what? By toxicity, Cannabis is the safest medication known to man.
Then why the fiery hoops? Why do the Cannabis-curious have to prove diagnosis, list past meds, and give a urine sample to be given permission to try this uber safe plant while my friend got a highly addictive benzodiazepine that is incredibly difficult to withdraw from?
When you’re stressed and on the verge of the dark hole of depression, you’re like a hungry Sunfish biting at any therapy thrown at you.
But who questions the white-coats?
We do, every single day through search engines and family friends, online forums and support groups. As a member of this pack I feel that we are obligated to warn our fellow human about medications like this, and share the good news about Cannabis.
Lastly, only we can change Canada and these archaic prescribing mindsets. When Cannabis was mentioned my friend says the Doctor acted like she didn’t hear him. She could have prescribed him Cannabis and capped his THC at 10%, recommending high CBD and 1:1 strains only. But the evil you know is better than … a plant that has never killed anyone I guess and it’s because of that stupid DIN.
Write your MP and your MPP and demand respect, research, and better access for Cannabis-curious Canadians.