"There have been no studies anywhere in the world that have been able to confirm medicinal benefit."
-- Anne McLellan, The Globe and Mail, July 10, 2003
In response to the spurious and misleading claims by Health Canada suggesting that the safety and efficacy of cannabis has never been examined anywhere in the world, Canadians for Safe Access has collected some of the most relevant international research into cannabinoids and the therapeutic use of cannabis. This research includes peer-reviewed and published studies, as well as some of the most extensive government examinations into cannabis safety and its potential as a therapeutic agent.
This research can be divided into several categories;
This section incorporates much of the research gathered by government-funded studies into marijuana use,
and attests to the safety of cannabis use and the irrational and alarmist behind claims that cannabis is either
significantly addictive or damaging to health, even in long-term chronic use. We have also included a
comprehensive study by Robbe et al that suggests that fears over cannabis intoxication and driving are
This section includes at least 23 published studies that suggest that cannabinoids have both anti-carcinogenic
and anti-tumourific properties. In other words, cannabis not only doesn't cause cancer, it may be one of the few
therapeutic agents that can help our bodies either fight or prevent it. We have also included recent research from
the U.K's GW Pharmaceuticals on MS, neuropathic pain, and post-operative stress. [More]
This section contains the only study that has ever looked at tar accumulation in different strengths of cannabis
and directly addresses Health Canada's plan to distribute "diluted" cannabis product of 10%. Tashkin et al found
that stronger cannabis resulted in a) less needed to achieve the desired effect, and 2) that stronger cannabis actually
contained less tar than weaker product. It should be noted that in recent GCMS testing, 6 organic cannabis strains
grown for the Vancouver Island Compassion Society all contained over 18% cannabis; the strongest products have
been tested at nearly 25% THC. [More]
"We are advising doctors not to partake in this particular program because we feel very strongly that this is a substance
that we do not have the proper evidence-based scientific studies to show its effectiveness."
-- Dr. Dana Hanson, President
of the Canadian Medical Association, Ottawa Citizen, July 12, 2003
Health Canada and the CMA are either inexcusably ignorant of the large body or therapeutic cannabis research,
or they are willfully misinforming the Canadian press and public. They have effectively lost all credibility on this issue.
Canada's legitimate compassion societies have the unique experience and expertise necessary to undertake the safe
and effective distribution of therapeutic cannabis, as well as the support of the majority of the public. The British
Columbia Compassion Club Society has put together a set of standards for the cultivation, use, and distribution of
cannabis. This document is far more relevant and comprehensive than the Health Canada equivalent, addressing:
1) different methods of ingestion, 2) harm reduction techniques, 3) strain/symptom information, and 4) safe cultivation
tips. We urge Health Canada, the press, and the public to examine this important document so that we can work towards
the truly safe and compassionate distribution of this benign medicine.
We invite Health Canada and the Canadian Medical Association to either dispute this large body of readily available
research, or to acknowledge that most recent studies confirm that cannabis is safe, effective, and should be available
to all who could benefit from its use.
Canadians expect and deserve better from the CMA and Health Canada. We urge the press and public to dismiss
the misleading claims made by the Health Canada and the CMA in regards to the lack of available therapeutic
cannabis research, and to challenge Health Canada and the CMA to address this important matter with more
honesty, integrity, and compassion. [More]