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RCMP Officer Legally Smokes Medical Marijuana for PTSD

RCMP Officer Legally Smokes Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Pot-smoking Mountie can’t smoke publicly in uniform: RCMP

Cpl. Ron Francis legally smokes marijuana daily while on duty to treat post-traumatic stress disorder

By Evan Dyer, CBC News Posted: Nov 28, 2013 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 28, 2013 3:48 PM ET

Mountie can't smoke pot in uniform in public

Mountie can’t smoke pot in uniform in public 2:20

RAW Mountie on PTSD and medical marijuana

RAW Mountie on PTSD and medical marijuana 3:10

RAW RCMP on marijuana use on the force

RAW RCMP on marijuana use on the force 2:19

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer with a medical marijuana prescription thinks he should be able to smoke the drug while in uniform, but the RCMP says he can’t smoke marijuana while in red serge or while wearing his regular working uniform.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles MoreauRCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Moreau said any officer with a medical marijuana prescription can take their medication, but should not do so in while in public in their uniform. (CBC)

Cpl. Ronald Francis serves with J Division in New Brunswick, and received a prescription for medical-grade marijuana on Nov. 4.

‘There’s no policy in the RCMP that prevents me from smoking marijuana. There’s no policy in the RCMP that says I cannot smoke in public. I have the right to smoke it in my red serge.’-Cpl. Ronald Francis

Francis told CBC News marijuana has helped him to calm down and reduces his PTSD symptoms. His prescription allows for three grams a day, which he estimates to be nine to 15 joints, though he said he doesn’t typically smoke that much.

“I get up in the morning, have my coffee and the marijuana. I go at lunchtime, have a marijuana joint, and then again in the evening. That would be my medical regime. But that may change with my tolerance to THC. It may take two joints in the morning, I don’t know,” said Francis.

“I’m just building up my immunity to THC levels, if I was to smoke two I’d probably get stoned to the point that I’m just totally relaxed. I’m still functional. But your nervous system is relaxed, and that makes a big difference,” he said.

RCMP Cpl. Ronald FrancisCpl. Francis said his choice to switch to medical marijuana was a health decision. (CBC)

Francis, who is currently assigned to administrative duties, said smoking marijuana has no negative effect on his ability to be a police officer and that he intends to continue smoking on the job.

“There’s no policy in the RCMP that prevents me from smoking marijuana. There’s no policy in the RCMP that says I cannot smoke in public. I have the right to smoke it in my red serge.”

RCMP says officers ‘should not be in red serge’ while smoking marijuana

But while the RCMP accepts that Francis’s prescription gives him the right to consume marijuana, the force takes issue with members smoking in public or in uniform.

“Definitely a member that has been prescribed medicinal marijuana should not be in red serge taking his medication,” said RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Moreau. “It would not be advisable for that member, it would not portray the right message to the general public, it’s definitely not something we would support or condone.”

Moreau said the RCMP has a duty to accommodate members’ medical needs, but also has to consider the effect on other members and on public perceptions.

“Because this is relatively new for active members of the RCMP, we are looking at the internal policies to see, how do we set it up? To say, OK, if somebody is prescribed medical marijuana and they have to take it two or three times a day and have to take it at work, where is this going to take place? If it takes place outside, it has to respect the individual but also their co-workers, and it has to respect the Canadian population at large by taking it in a respectful way.”

The RCMP has the right to challenge medical treatments it considers inappropriate, and to seek a second medical opinion, Moreau said, adding that RCMP will evaluate any member who obtains a medical marijuana prescription.

If they are found to be impaired in judgment or motor skills, the RCMP will place limits on the police functions they’re permitted to perform, he said.

Turned to marijuana after trying anti-depressants

Francis said he experienced stress on the job early in his career, while serving the First Nation in Davis Inlet and in his own community of Kingsclear First Nation. He began to seek treatment for mental distress eight years ago.

At first, his doctors prescribed anti-depressants, but he did not feel any significant improvement.

“I started to self-medicate with alcohol. And I said no, this is not me. Why am I doing this? And I was going through treatment for PTSD at the time, and the RCMP did provide treatment, and I thank the RCMP for that.”

But Francis began to read about alternative treatments, including marijuana, and he eventually left the doctor he was seeing at the occupational stress injury clinic. He switched to a different doctor, who gave him the marijuana prescription.

“When I explored it as a treatment for my PTSD, I had to really make a moral decision about it. Because the RCMP and law enforcement, they seem so anti-marijuana, and that’s a hard thing to overcome, so I had to make that decision for my own health. It wasn’t based on my career or anything.

“It was for my own health. In doing that I realized that I have to come first. The organization doesn’t come first, Ron Francis comes first. For my own health. And I’m glad I did that,” he said.

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***Reposter’s note
You will find a number of educational posts on this blog, that I researched and posted after viewing Dr.Sanjay Gupta’s eye opening documentary this summer. As you can see the tide is turning. Cannabis is proving to be the most nutritionally complete vegetable on the planet as well as one of the most beneficial natural or prescription medicine for hundreds of diseases.
As we the general public are exposed to the far reaching health benefits and understand the fact that if CANNABIS is ingested raw and not exposed to heat, there are NO PSYCHOACTIVE EFFECTS, attitude and acceptance will change. I foresee in the not to distant future, that the general public WILL DEMAND the right to grow and use this vegetable as freely as the potato or tomato.***
Below are links to some of the information that opened my eyes to the medicine that so many are denied.

Marijuana and HIV; What Big Pharma Doesn’t Want You to Know

Marijuana and HIV; What Big Pharma Doesn’t Want You to Know

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The overwhelming evidence of the curative powers of marijuana and cannabinoids leave little doubt that the pharmaceutical industry is behind marijuana prohibition laws. The amount of research now validating the truly remarkable nature of this healing plant is simply enormous. According to new findings published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers have now have now discovered that marijuana-like chemicals trigger receptors on human immune cells that can directly inhibit a type of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) found in late-stage AIDS.

The U.S. Patent 6630507 was specifically initiated when researchers found that cannabinoids had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.

The Netherlands became the world’s first country to make cannabis available as a prescription drug in pharmacies to treat cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis patients.

Medical marijuana has been typically prescribed to treat pain, debilitating weight loss and appetite suppression in patients with advanced AIDS. However, Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers have produced the first study to reveal how the marijuana receptors found on immune cells–called cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2–can influence the spread of the virus.

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Unfortunately, the scientists will use the research on the effects of these receptors to develop new drugs to benefit the pharmaceutical industry.

Marijuana researcher and activist Jason Mihaldas says the studies finally justify what the pro-marijuana community has always know. “Decades of anecdotal and empirical evidence are now being validated by the scientific community, but it’s unfortunate they are using this research for their own selfish motives–to take marijuana from its raw medically effective form to one where it will be medically ineffective with processing agents, altering what it was designed to do…heal,” proclaimed Mihaldas.

“We knew that cannabinoid drugs like marijuana can have a therapeutic effect in AIDS patients, but did not understand how they influence the spread of the virus itself,” said study author Cristina Costantino, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “We wanted to explore cannabinoid receptors as a target for pharmaceutical interventions that treat the symptoms of late-stage AIDS and prevent further progression of the disease without the undesirable side effects of medical marijuana.”

Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. CBD (Cannabidiol), one of the main constituents of the cannabis plant has been proven medically to relieve many diseases including the inhibition of cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown it to be an effective atypical anti-psychotic in treating schizophrenia. CBD also interferes with the amount of THC your brain processes, balancing the psychotropic effect of marijuana. That is precisely why the power of raw cannabis is turning heads.

HIV infects active immune cells that carry the viral receptor CD4, which makes these cells unable to fight off the infection. In order to spread, the virus requires that “resting” immune cells be activated. In advanced AIDS, HIV mutates so it can infect these resting cells, gaining entry into the cell by using a signaling receptor called CXCR4. By treating the cells with a cannabinoid agonist that triggers CB2, Dr. Costantino and the Mount Sinai team found that CB2 blocked the signaling process, and suppressed infection in resting immune cells.

The Mount Sinai team infected healthy immune cells with HIV, then treated them with a chemical that triggers CB2 called an agonist. They found that the drug reduced the infection of the remaining cells.

“Developing a drug that triggers only CB2 as an adjunctive treatment to standard antiviral medication may help alleviate the symptoms of late-stage AIDS and prevent the virus from spreading,” said Dr. Costantino. Because HIV does not use CXCR4 to enhance immune cell infection in the early stages of infection, CB2 agonists appear to be an effective antiviral drug only in late-stage disease.

As a result of this discovery, the research team led by Benjamin Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases, and Lakshmi Devi, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, plans to develop a mouse model of late-stage AIDS in order to test the efficacy of a drug that triggers CB2 in vivo.

Now that the scientific evidence is being made public, a concerted effort must be made from all nations to end marijuana-prohibition laws. Holding or possessing a plant should never be a criminal offence and the origins and source for these laws are now coming to light.

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

Source: Prevent Disease                                                                                Image: Flickr/Dank Depot