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Ottawa MDs won’t handle marijuana

By Mohammed Adam

Ontario leads Canada in the number of people who can legally smoke medical marijuana, but the 240 certified users in the province are a long way from having easy access to the drug despite the federal government’s new distribution plan.

The Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Protective Association both remain adamantly opposed to the use of medical marijuana and are telling doctors not to get involved in any aspect of it.

“There is a possibility that if a physician acts as a distributor, they might be sued if something goes wrong. We recommend they shouldn’t distribute marijuana unless they truly believe the benefits outweigh the disadvantages,” said Dr. Douglas Bell, managing director of the protective association’s physician services group.

In Ottawa, several doctors interviewed said they would refuse to distribute marijuana if asked by the federal government. Most say the medical benefits of marijuana are unproven, despite anecdotal evidence from users who say it works wonders for them. They say doctors are not in the business of distributing drugs, and the trouble involved in keeping something whose medical benefits are dubious at best is not worth it.

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