Canada: Rising Popularity Of Medical Cannabis Among Veterans Associated With Declining Opioid Use

for_painRising rates of medical cannabis use among Canadian military veterans is associated with a parallel decline in the use of prescription opiates and benzodiazepenes, according to federal data recently provided to The Globe and Mail.

According to records provided by Veterans Affairs Canada, the number of veterans prescribed benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Ativan, and Valium) fell nearly 30 percent between 2012 and 2016, while veterans’ use of prescription opiates declined almost 17 percent. During this same period, veterans seeking federal reimbursements for prescription cannabis rose from fewer than 100 total patients to more than 1,700.

Canadian officials legalized the use of cannabis via prescription in 2001.

While the data set is too small to establish cause and effect, the trend is consistent with data indicating that many patients substitute medical cannabis for other prescription drugs, especially opiates.

Prior assessments from the United States report that incidences of opioid-related addiction, abuse, and mortality are significantly lower in jurisdictions that permit medicinal cannabis access as compared to those states that do not.

9 thoughts

  1. Imagine every soldier smoking weed
    And bein freed
    From the greed
    Of the opiate pharmaceuticals
    The VA feed

    Whose the biggest dealer on the block?
    Pfizer pumpin pills or the crackhead slingin rock?
    Through playin knock-knock
    Were through with the talk
    So many veterans commitin suicide
    Too many still on lock

    Ain’t got all afternoon to read
    The side effects that they bleed
    Like a politician mislead
    When all we need
    We concede
    Is some love
    And some marijuana seed

    Congress take heed,
    About to start a stampede
    they hate breed
    Until we vote in the true creed
    Let the Wounded take the lead
    We march in peace
    But we might give Chuck a nosebleed

    Demoralizing war
    Insurgent conflict
    When the war at my door
    Turns me into a convict

    The insurgents are us
    And the war is within
    We demand marijuana
    N let the healing begin

    We made the sacrifice
    Took the bomb,
    Took the oath,
    Let’s turn this PTSDisorder
    Into PTSGrowth

    1. Revision;
      We’re through playin knock-knocks
      While Congress plays talk-talks
      It’s time we walk the real walks
      Weve got whole blocks on cell-locks
      When the capitol we should hot-box

      So many Veterans on opiate suicide
      Even Washmoney-Shultz can’t hide
      Investors cashing in on treatment
      While prevention takes a slow ride

      We’ll tell the Sherriff’s Associations
      Drop the prison populations
      In all the police stations
      NORML chapter compensations
      With margarita machines
      Just legalize the greens
      Union prison-guard fiends
      Can work for dispensareens

      Controlled Substance Act
      Turns cops into criminals
      With visions subliminals
      For this capitalist contract
      These are minimals
      See, vultures
      Break cultures
      With drug wars,
      Thats not yours
      Asset Forfeitures
      Fit the scriptures
      The evidence are legislatures
      Were still developing the pictures

      It’s time to unite
      N stand up for our right
      Don’t take the gains for granted
      For the green light is in sight

  2. If everyone taking pain killers and antidepressants switched to grass the healthcare system would be far less burdened; fewer overdoses and fewer addictions. Duh

  3. Julian the poet – well said! The love money is the root of all evil! That’s why cannabis is not legal. – yet.

  4. “Why do you think they call it dope?” –80’s anti-cannabis ad

    Edward Kennedy Ellington or somebody said something similar to: “If it sounds similar, it means similar.” Why does “dope” sound similar to “opiate” if it doesn’t mean similar?

    Opiates are designed to make your body more stupid so you don’t feel the pain. As a commentator said last week on this blog, cannabis didn’t deaden his pain, rather it helped him manage it, by perceiving more accurately where the pain was and applying appropriate measures to address root cause!

    Which may include doing some Massage– I urge everyone to try a moderate-bristle-strength hairbrush or two, several times daily as needed, or right after a toke. To hell with pills!

  5. I was reading something talking about the DEA changing the SCHEDULE Classification of POT..iS THIS TRUE?? pLease help me to confirm

    [Editor’s note: On June 30th the DEA is expected to release a self-directed report on whether or not they’re going to recommend a down scheduling of cannabis.]

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