For the past year and a half, Dr. David Hepburn
has been travelling Canada, educating his fellow family doctors
on why and when to prescribe medical marijuana. Speaking at
conferences, sometimes sponsored by the commercial growers
licensed by Health Canada, Dr. Hepburn runs through the history
of cannabis prohibition and the research that has been done
on the plant. He says he is trying to change the minds of
a medical establishment loath to endorse a drug that has vast
amounts of anecdotal evidence, but scant clinical trials,
to support its use. He said cannabis can be a suitable medicine
for patients suffering migraines, nerve-related pain, neurodegenerative
conditions, such as MS, and symptoms such as insomnia or anxiety.
He describes his efforts to change how many Canadian doctors
– gatekeepers for the federal medical marijuana system
– view the drug.
Medical marijuana can be an effective medication when it is
properly prescribed. That's the message a B.C. doctor will
gave his fellow physicians on a cross-country speaking tour.
Dr. David Hepburn, a general practitioner based in Victoria,
BC, wants to change the stigma around prescribing medical
marijuana. He has been giving similar talks to a varied audience
of general practitioners and specialists, hoping to inform
and encourage physicians who may have reservations around
prescribing medicinal cannabis.
Dr. Hepburn says marijuana can be used to treat neurodegenerative
diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic
stress disorder, and symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia.
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