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Canada’s Medical Cannabis Reimbursements – Weed | Cannabis | Marijuana




A record number of Canadian military veterans have received medical cannabis reimbursements. The federal government spent more than $150 million last fiscal year. The amount has doubled from only three years ago.

Veterans Affairs Canada is on track to spend $200 million on medical cannabis reimbursements this year.

Medical Cannabis Reimbursements for Vets

The rationale behind the reimbursements is the 2008 court decision requiring the federal government to provide “reasonable access” to medical cannabis. And it makes sense when the federal government already reimburses vets for pharmaceuticals.

The demand among veterans has soared since 2016. In November, the government overhauled how it dealt with medical cannabis reimbursements. The government reduced the amount of cannabis it would cover as a reimbursement, as well as the cost.

So-called “experts” applauded the decision, as they equate an absence of evidence as evidence of absence. Some believe military veterans are abusing cannabis to avoid their psychological trauma. But this is just further evidence of the cannabis industry‘s public health problem.

Can Canadians Afford This? 

Medical Cannabis Reimbursements

The November 2016 overhaul slashed medical cannabis reimbursements to three grams per day from the previous ten. The government gave those using more than three grams six months to either wean themselves down or find an additional means of income to afford their medicine.

Slashing medical cannabis reimbursements for vets came in the wake of an auditor general report. Citing “public health experts,” they decided that ten grams per day were too much.

Some can’t imagine putting a price on treating Canada’s vets with dignity. But the fact is that the year-over-year increase in medical cannabis reimbursements is unsustainable in the long term.

Should Vets Get Medical Cannabis Reimbursements?

Should Canada’s military veterans receive medical cannabis reimbursements? Most Canadians would likely argue yes. Whatever the annual cost, national defence is the federal government’s top priority (or, at least, it should be). And if that means combat vets need ten grams of medical cannabis per day for the rest of their lives – so be it.

If the federal government wants to reduce these costs, there are several ways to do it.

One:  Suppose the federal government wants the number of vets with PTSD and requiring medical cannabis reimbursements to go down. In that case, they can stop requiring our military to engage in activities that cause trauma.

They can stop sending Canada’s military to parts of the world where we have no business. “Peacekeeping” missions in Yugoslavia or Rwanda are an Orwellian way of describing war.

Two: They can defund other areas of the government. The federal government’s first (and some would argue, only) function is national defence. 

All additional government bureaucracies can be gutted or downsized to the provincial government. Or, ideally, returned to the private sector that handles resource allocation more efficiently and effectively.

Three: They can liberalize the cannabis industry, resulting in lower prices. Lower prices for the same or higher amounts of cannabis mean the cost of medical cannabis reimbursements goes down, even as usage or the number of vets increases.

In Summary

Canada's Medical Cannabis Reimbursements

A record number of Canadian military veterans receive medical cannabis reimbursements. This number increases year after year. Capping what vets can claim is a short-term solution if one can even call it a solution. “This is purely a cost-saving endeavour,” says Michael Blais, founder of Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

However, the most insulting part of all this is the “public health experts” suggesting that military vets are avoiding their problems or trauma by consuming medical cannabis instead of some toxic pharmaceutical.

The next time the Canadian government wants to engage in a conflict overseas, perhaps we can send politicians and public health busybodies instead. Keep the troops home. Station them in the Arctic. We have a lot of work to do up there. Russia is already claiming parts of the Arctic circle for itself.

We shouldn’t be so foolish as to believe that territory belongs to Canada just because it says so on a map. 

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RIP Olivia Newton-John: Medical Cannabis Advocate – Cannabis News, Lifestyle




Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy Award-winning singer, died this week at 73 years old after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. While she was known as one of the stars of Grease, the Australian singer/actress was also a medical cannabis advocate.

And her use of medical cannabis may have extended his life. Diagnosed in 1992, Olivia battled breast cancer for over 30 years.

Olivia Newton-John: Medical Cannabis Advocate 

In a Facebook message, Olivia Newton-John’s husband said she “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California,” surrounded by family and friends.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,” the post states. It also asks that interested fans send the foundation a donation in place of flowers.

In a September 2018 interview with High Times, Olivia Newton-John said she was consuming cannabis as part of her treatment. She called it a “magical, miracle plant.”

Olivia Newton-John

“My husband’s a plant medicine man so he grew cannabis and made tinctures for me for pain and inflammation,” she said. “The pain was the hardest thing. I can walk, but I can’t go long distances.” 

Medical cannabis, she says, “helped me a lot with pain because I don’t like taking prescription drugs.”

“I really believe the cannabis has made a huge difference,” she told 60 Minutes Australia in 2019. “If I don’t take the drops, I can feel the pain, so I know it’s working.”

“People have this vision from the ’60s of people just sitting around and getting stoned. It’s not about that. This plant is a healing plant. I think we need to change the vision of what it is because it helped me greatly and it helps with pain and inflammation.”

“I’m totally off painkillers, I’m totally off morphine, and I attribute that to the cannabis because it was able to take over with the pain,” she told You Magazine in March 2021.

The late singer and actress also called cannabis “kind and compassionate.” “It’s what should be available for everybody to use,” she said.

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre

Olivia Newton-John’s experience with medical cannabis led her to create the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre in Melbourne in 2012.

“I have seen the incredible beauty of the plants and their healing abilities… if I hadn’t had that experience, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you about kinder therapies… your body wants to heal itself,” she once told the Daily Mail

“That’s why I’m excited to start this foundation.”

Olivia Newton-John spent years lobbying the Australian government to legalize medical cannabis. Politicians legalized medical cannabis in 2016, but not without restrictive rules and regulations many patients criticize as overly bureaucratic. 

30 Years Battling Cancer

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John’s cancer resurfaced in 2017, a third time since her original diagnosis in 1992. But, as she told the media:

“When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. If somebody tells you, ‘You have six months to live,’ very possibly you will because you believe that. So for me, psychologically, it’s better not to have any idea of what they expect or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don’t, I don’t tune in.”

Staying positive certainly helps. But so does medical cannabis. While Newton-John used it to ease her symptoms, research shows cannabis also has anti-tumour properties.

As well, several studies suggest cannabinoid therapy reduces breast cancer cell proliferation.

Unfortunately, cannabis’s anti-cancer properties weren’t enough to save Olivia Newton-John. Things might have been different if she had started cannabinoid treatment with her first diagnosis in the early 90s.

But we at least have her repertoire of songs and performances. And through her celebrity, she was able to promote cannabis-based medicines and therapy.

Without Olivia Newton-John’s intense lobbying efforts, would the illiberal Australian government have ever legalized medical cannabis?

Rest in peace, Olivia Newton-John. Medical cannabis advocate.

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Rhode Island’s Legalization – Cannabis News, Lifestyle




Governor Dan McKee signed Rhode Island’s legalization of cannabis into law on May 25, 2022. Although, the State has had medical cannabis since 2006. The new law allows residents over 21 years old to possess and consume cannabis recreationally. Accordingly, some medical regulations are updated, including how to administer medical cannabis to children. Rhode Island is the 19th State to legalize recreational cannabis for adults.

What Employers Need to Know About Rhode Island’s Legalization

Of course, whenever a new state legalizes cannabis, employers always worry about what the new laws mean for their business. Subsequently, legalizing cannabis means Rhode Island’s employers must update their drug and alcohol policies. However, for the most part, employers can still prohibit employees from being under the influence of cannabis during work hours.

Accordingly, employers can’t fire or take disciplinary action against an employee for consuming cannabis in private on their own time outside the workplace. However, there are exceptions to this. Depending on the job, an employer can demand the employee is clean for 24 hours before the shift begins. By and large, in positions requiring drug testing, like commercial transportation, an employee cannot trust positive for cannabis. Or, when an employee is on call.

What Schools Need to Know

Rhode Island's Legalization

Legalization comes with new state regulations. One of them outlines what school nurses need to know about Rhode Island’s legalization. The Rhode Island Department of Health is asking school districts to devise a plan to administer medical cannabis to students.

In a statement, the Health Department said: “Rhode Island has had medical marijuana since 2006, but policies and procedures for administration in schools were not in place. The regulations require a written and signed statement from the student’s parent or legal guardian releasing the school and employees from liability.”

Furthermore, school districts must choose a space designated for medical cannabis. According to the regulations, students cannot self-administer their medicine, and they cannot smoke it. 

The Rhode Island Certified School, Nurses Teachers Association, has expressed concern over the regulation, as has the teacher’s union. 

Details of Rhode Island’s Legalization

Rhode Island is the 19th State to legalize recreational cannabis for adults. Details of Rhode Island’s legalization include:

  • Legal for adults over 21 to purchase and possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis
  • Adults can grow up to 6 plants for personal use.
  • The possession limit per household is 10 ounces.
  • The State will expunge prior cannabis possession convictions.
  • The new Cannabis Control Commission handles regulation.
  • Cannabis sales subject to 7% sales tax, 10% excise tax, 3% municipal tax
  • A maximum of 33 retail licences – 25% for “social equity” applicants* and 25% for worker-owned cooperatives
  • One cannabis business licence per entity
  • Possession for adults 18-20 decriminalized.
  • Regulators will determine “cannabis product serving sizes, doses, and potency,”
  • Regulators will set THC potency limits
  • Municipalities can opt out and ban cannabis retailers from their towns.

*These applicants must live in a rough area, at or below the poverty line, or have a history of arrests and convictions associated with the drug war.

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