Article by Peter Thurley, CBC News
When people hear that someone uses cannabis, they often give a nudge nudge wink wink and say, “Lucky you, getting high on weed, eh?”
I usually chuckle and reply that the official scientific name of the plant is “cannabis,” and that it is medicine. For me, it’s used to dull chronic nerve pain left after an invasive surgery to repair burst bowels and remove a 25-pound desmoid tumour.
It can also be used as an appetite stimulant, it quickly kills nausea and it relaxes anyone who needs to deal with frightening flashbacks of their time in hospital.
Yet the image of the lazy pot-smoker remains one of the most prevailing stigmas about medical cannabis users, and it was on full display recently during a CBC News interview with former NDP MP Peter Stoffer about cannabis use among veterans.
Once the NDP’s critic for veterans affairs, Stoffer, who is now the public spokesperson for Nova Scotia-based Trauma Healing Centers, quipped that the 10 grams a day of cannabis allowed under Veterans Affairs Canada rules is “an awful lot of marijuana to give one person.” Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr seems to agree, and announced this week that the limit will be scaled back to three grams.
In his interview, Stoffer added that veterans should be subject to a full lifestyle examination before being granted access to cannabis, suggesting that some might be using it simply to get high.