Article by Solomon Israel, The Leaf News
After three decades as a first responder, retired police officer Vincent Lefaive relies on cannabis to treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I found relief practically immediately,” says the former patrol sergeant with the Durham Regional Police Service, who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2016. Lefaive uses vaporized cannabis every four hours, “much like any other medication.”
“It keeps the intrusive thoughts and the anxiety down to a very minimum.”
Lefaive can only afford about one-third of the cannabis his doctor authorizes him to use. Part of the problem, he says, is taxation that drives up the cost of his medicine of choice.
More than 479,000 people are using cannabis for medical purposes with medical documentation, according to Statistics Canada estimates released Thursday. (Health Canada reported 342,103 medical cannabis registrations as of September 2018.)
Medical cannabis is taxed the same as weed for recreational purposes. Licensed cannabis producers must pay Ottawa’s cannabis excise tax before shipping product to consumers, medical or otherwise. Provincial and federal sales taxes are layered on top.
“It’s an expensive medicine that’s being taxed, now, twice,” Lefaive says from his home in Whitby, Ont. “And that’s ridiculous, where an already vulnerable segment of the patient community is essentially being victimized again.”