Q&A: Vancouver Island Health Sets Rules for Medical Marijuana in Hospitals

Article by Deborah Wilson, CBC News

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The nurses aren’t dispensing “purple kush” or Island “sweet skunk” with the evening meds. But hospitals on Vancouver Island are making way for medical marijuana use by patients.

Dr. Richard Jones, the director of Pharmacy Services with Island Health, helped to draft guidelines for medical marijuana use in health facilities.

He spoke with On the Island host Gregor Craigie about the rules and the challenges for patients and health providers.

How many patients have wanted to use marijuana in hospitals?
We’ve had a couple at this point in time in our acute services. We’ve had several in our residential care service.

Have you been able to accommodate them?
Yes and no. We all have anti-smoking policies, so the way in which the person consumes it is the issue that has affected the cases we’ve had so far.

If a patient has a prescription for it when they come into the hospital, and the admitting physician wants to maintain that therapy, then we have policy that will enable that to happen.

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