Medical Marijuana Still Divides Doctors, but Calgary Patients Swear by the Drug

Article by Julien Lecacheur, CBC News

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As the Aurora Cannabis production facility near Cremona, Alta., pumps out 7,000 kilograms of medical marijuana a year, demand for the drug is strong an hour’s drive away in Calgary.

The waiting room is full at Natural Health Services, a small clinic in a strip mall near the city’s massive Chinook Centre shopping complex.

Calgarians looking to speak with a physician about medical marijuana are constantly coming and going.

Each consultation lasts about 15 minutes, enough time for the doctor to decide whether or not medical marijuana is recommended for the particular ailment a patient presents.

If so, a prescription is issued. If not, other lines of treatment are advised.

Four doctors work in the clinic. All are registered with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta and able to prescribe medical cannabis, under certain guidelines.

“They must meet regularly with the patient, they must have tried other alternatives to marijuana before they prescribe marijuana, and they need to check the pharmaceutical information network to ensure that the patient may not have contraindications with the marijuana,” said Kelly Eby, a spokeswoman for the medical-licensing body.

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