Government of Canada announces proposed amendments to protect the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations against abuse

OTTAWA, June 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada and has not gone through the necessary rigorous scientific trials for efficacy or safety.

Health Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes.

The Government of Canada believes that this must be done in a controlled fashion to protect public health and safety.

The Government of Canada is proposing to amend the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) and the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR) to further strengthen public health and safety.

These amendments would require licensed producers of marijuana for medical purposes to regularly report to provincial and territorial medical and nursing licensing bodies which doctors and nurses are authorizing marijuana and in which quantities. The reporting will enhance their oversight by ensuring they have the ability to monitor for high dosages, multiple medical authorizations and multiple registrations with licensed producers, and can take appropriate action such as investigation, or discipline.

The proposed information provided is consistent with many established provincial and territorial drug monitoring programs for controlled substances.

The proposed amendments will be published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 for a 30-day public comment period. Interested parties are encouraged to submit any comments to Health Canada by July 13, 2014.

Health Canada will continue to work with healthcare partners to develop information to help meet the needs of the medical community regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Quick Facts

  • Marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada.
  • The Marihuana Medical Access Program, introduced in 2001, went from a few hundred people to almost 40,000 which created consequences for public health, safety and security, as a result of allowing individuals to produce marijuana in their homes.
  • The medical community and provincial and territorial medical and nursing licensing bodies have asked the Government to work with them and to share this information.

Quotes

"We have consulted with healthcare licensing bodies who expressed a need for the data on how doctors and nurses are authorizing marijuana to their patients and in which quantities. The proposed regulatory amendments will further strengthen public health and safety by ensuring appropriate oversight and monitoring."
Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"The Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada strongly supports the proposed amendments that will enable its Members to exercise their duty in the best interest of the public. Medical regulatory authorities require access to this information so they can hold physicians accountable to a high standard of care when they choose to authorize patient access to marijuana for medical purposes."
Dr. Trevor Theman
President of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada

SOURCE Health Canada



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