Mar 03, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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There’s not enough evidence to promote medicinal marijuana as a safe choice for people with rheumatic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or fibro-myalgia.

That’s the finding from a new study published today in Arthritis Care and Research.

Dr. Mary-Ann Fitz- Charles is one of the study co-authors.

She says marijuana’s positive effect on pain management with other diseases can’t be assumed to work the same way in people with rheumatic conditions.

Meanwhile — The Harper government says the unforeseen growth of its medical marijuana program has “seriously compromised” its goal of providing the drug to patients – while ensuring public safety.

The number of people authorized to possess marijuana has risen to 37,000 this year – from fewer than 100 in 2001.

In a court document the government says growing marijuana at home poses hazards that include mould, fire, toxic chemicals and the threat of home invasion by criminals.

It says the number of licensed users could climb as high as 400,000 and it’s not possible for Health Canada to effectively inspect tens of thousands of production sites across the country.

Under the existing program to be eliminated April 1, people are issued licences to grow marijuana for their personal use to help ease painful symptoms.

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