Arthritis Society Hosts Medical Pot Forum

The Arthritis Society is looking to clear up some of the smoke that clouds the issue of medical marijuana.

A public forum is being held at the Caboto Club on Wednesday with Windsor-based physician Dr. Christopher Blue taking part.

As heard on AM800s The Afternoon News, the forum will deal with how medical cannabis actually works, how to get it along with the right and responsibilities of employers and employees will be covered.

Dr. Blue says the stigma around marijuana still needs demystifying after years of the drug being tarred as an evil substance.

"We're realizing, quite frankly, we had it wrong."

Blue feels medicinal cannabis can have a lot to offer patients, pointing to much less severe side effects, comparing the withdrawal symptoms to those of caffeine.

"All the people that consume three or four Tim Hortons [coffees] a day and then I take it away from them 10 years later, they don't go through the withdrawals that you would see from opiates and other illicit substances."

Blue says medical marijuana provides patients much more flexibility than other drugs doctors prescribe.

"You can be taking a scheduled dose whether it's once a day, twice a day, three times a day or as an as needed dose — if you need it five times a day you take it five times, if you don't need you don't take it."

Blue feels it's time people let go of stigmas associated with cannabis — something the doctor says he's seeing more and more in his practice from older patients.

"This is not as scary as we were raised to believe and, in fact, we had it all wrong — and that's a big pill to swallow is to admit that you were wrong but, now you are looking to better yourself and actually feel better as well."

The free forum is being hosted by the Arthritis Society at the Caboto Club from 6pm to 7:30pm.

The forum is sponsored by Leamington-based licensed producer Aphria.


— with files from Patty Handysides.