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Cannabis for your Chronic Pain in Personal Injury Cases (Ontario)

Recently in the news, a Windsor Ontario doctor was disciplined for over prescribing opioid medication. His license to practice medicine was revoked. This was the first disciplinary case of its kind involving the over prescribing of opioid medication where the doctor lost his license to practice medicine.

Also recently, the government of British Columbia launched the first law suit of its kind against opioid manufacturers and distributors alleging that the drugs created more negatives and burdens for the health care industry than benefits.

The trend is that opioid medication is bad. Personal Injury lawyers see this trend on the front lines with respect to how their clients react to opioid medication. Times are certainly changing and medication trends are heading in a different direction. They are trending towards cannabis.

It used to be that smoking cannabis for chronic pain was taboo. Pot smokers were frowned upon by the Courts, insurers and jurors thinking that the smoker was masking their smoking habit just to get high. The disingenuous comment “I need to smoke pot for my pain” was very common and was sneered upon.

With the recent crack downs on opioid medication, and a better understanding of the potential harms which opioid medication can cause; more people (and doctors) are seeking out alternative remedies. Enter medical cannabis.

Recreational cannabis will be legalized in October 2018. But medical cannabis has been around for a long time! It’s available to chronic pain sufferers NOW. Read that again: If you suffer from chronic pain and traditional medicine isn’t working, you can speak with your family doctor about medical cannabis now.

Medical cannabis is only gaining increased traction because recreational cannabis is being legalized. This is forcing a dialogue among Canadians to look at cannabis differently.

To give you an example of the breadth of that dialogue people and institutions you wouldn’t expect have to turn their minds to cannabis. Some recently headlines in the news include:

Will private golf courses let you light up for your round?

Can a condo ban a resident from smoking pot in his/her unit?

Will it be ok to smoke pot on the job?

The legal questions which legalized cannabis raises are endless.

Health Canada will be investing 100 million dollars in to Cannabis education and awareness campaigns over the next 6 years. That’s a lot of advertising dollars being spent help Canadians better understand the pros, and cons of cannabis.  Keep in mind that for all of the pros to cannabis, there are cons. Don’t rely on what a personal injury lawyer tells you. Speak with your doctor about it. It’s your body. It’s your health. 

At Goldfinger Injury Lawyers, we believe that cannabis should not been seen as for just for getting high. The medical benefits of cannabis for our chronic pain clients have been extraordinary.

From having worked with accident victims and disability claimants for approaching 15 years, here’s what I can tell you about medical cannabis:Goldfinger-logo-icon-300x300

Sometimes, no form of medication, therapy or treatment seems to work. I have seen clients pop complicated cocktails of pills, get pain injections in the form of long needles, go through massage, physio, chiro, acupuncture and nothing seemed to work. For some, the only thing which provided any sort of meaningful pain relief was cannabis. For those clients, cannabis was a blessing.

Accessing medical cannabis is done why way of referral from a medical doctor. The cannabis can be secured through a pharmacy, a licensed producer or from the Government directly. Either way, a doctor needs to sign off on the prescription. Some drug plans cover the cost of medical cannabis. Others don’t.

I’ve seen other clients who can’t handle medical cannabis. Instead, traditional medicine worked. For those clients, the pills which the doctor prescribed worked just fine.

There are certainly groups of other clients for whom nothing works; neither cannabis nor traditional medicine. You don’t want to fall in to that group of people.

Many clients look to our personal injury lawyers for guidance navigating the health care system in Ontario. Who to go to. Which clinic works best. Which clinic knows how to bill the insurer the right way so that you aren’t left out of pocket. Some of our clients are new to Canada and don’t know where to turn, or how to access services.

Knowing that medical cannabis is available to you for your chronic pain is helpful if nothing else seems to work. It will be up to your doctor to write the prescription. Some doctors will be supportive of medical cannabis use. Others won’t. I’m not one to judge. Your doctor will have medical reasons to support their decision, whatever decision they make. Cannabis may be suitable for your chronic pain. Or it may not. Again, these are medical questions which aren’t suited for a personal injury lawyer to answer.

Either way, you should be able to have an open and frank discussion about the pros and cons of medical cannabis to manage your chronic pain condition with your doctor. You doctor should be able to tell you whether or not medical cannabis is right for you to manage your chronic pain.

Enough law talk? Sure. I would like to comment on the state of the Toronto Blue Jays. They recently traded former A.L MVP Josh Donaldson for a Player to Be Named Later. That Player To Be Named Later could turn out to be a real stud, or a real dud. Either way, when you trade a former MVP and All Star for a phantom player who can’t be identified at the time of the trade you know that the ship is sinking. I can’t think of a more powerful sign to the fans of Toronto that the team is sinking. The Jays should not be run like a small market team. They have to compete in the AL East with a pair of big spending power house ball clubs. To finish perpetually in 3rd or 4th without much sign of hope for the next 5+ years is sad and isn’t fitting for a baseball club situated in a City/market the size of Toronto.




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