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Wounded vets turning to medical pot for chronic pain

shutterstock_74615185.jpgThe number of injured Canadian soldiers using marijuana for medical purposes, such as chronic pain and post-traumatic stress, has soared over the past year.


March 23, 2015
By The Canadian Press

Figures from the Veteran Affairs department indicate some 600 veterans
now smoke medical marijuana, compared to just 116 in the 2013-2014
budget year.

The cost of providing the pot has soared as well, from $417,000 to $4.3 million.

Health
Canada routinely warns against marijuana use, and the Harper
Conservatives have ridiculed Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for
advocating overall legalization.

A Veteran Affairs official notes
marijuana is not an approved medicine in Canada, but it will fund its
use if a doctor deems it appropriate for a soldier’s treatment.

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Clayton
Goodwin, a former reservist who was injured in 2004, says the mixed
government messages make it hard to get pot prescribed by a doctor.

He
says many veterans with chronic pain or post-traumatic stress are
choosing medicinal pot over pharmaceuticals for safety and to get away
from the side effects of prescription drugs.


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