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Join us for the 159th annual Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack June 29th – July 1st! Mix and mingle at the Hats & Horseshoes party, while enjoying music, drinks and bites, photo ops and more at one of the finest horse races in the world.

$1 from every ticket will support Rethink’s mission to support, educate and advocate for young people affected by and concerned about breast cancer. 

Use code RETHINKQP18 for 20% off!

Boobyball presents: Get Physical! This year, we’re throwing it waaaayyy back to the days when hair was big, Jane Fonda was boss, and Walkmans were totally rad.

Tickets go on sale mid-August. RSVP on the event page or sign up for Rethink’s emails for exclusive information and updates, such as being first to know when Boobyball tickets go on sale!

Get ready for a rad night, for an even better cause. We can’t wait to see you there!

Boobyball presents: Get Physical! This year, we’re throwing it waaaayyy back to the days when hair was big, Jane Fonda was boss, and Walkmans were totally rad.

Tickets go on sale mid-August. RSVP on the event page or sign up for Rethink’s emails for exclusive information and updates, such as being first to know when Boobyball tickets go on sale!

Get ready for a rad night, for an even better cause. We can’t wait to see you there!

Boobyball presents: Get Physical! This year, we’re throwing it waaaayyy back to the days when hair was big, Jane Fonda was boss, and Walkmans were totally rad.

Tickets go on sale mid-August. RSVP on the event page or sign up for Rethink’s emails for exclusive information and updates, such as being first to know when Boobyball tickets go on sale!

Get ready for a rad night, for an even better cause. We can’t wait to see you there!

Boobyball presents: Get Physical! This year, we’re throwing it waaaayyy back to the days when hair was big, Jane Fonda was boss, and Walkmans were totally rad.

Tickets go on sale mid-August. RSVP on the event page or sign up for Rethink’s emails for exclusive information and updates, such as being first to know when Boobyball tickets go on sale!

Get ready for a rad night, for an even better cause. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Boobyball presents: Get Physical! This year, we’re throwing it waaaayyy back to the days when hair was big, Jane Fonda was boss, and Walkmans were totally rad.

Tickets go on sale mid-August. RSVP on the event page or sign up for Rethink’s emails for exclusive information and updates, such as being first to know when Boobyball tickets go on sale!

Get ready for a rad night, for an even better cause. We can’t wait to see you there!

On June 21st, 2017, Rethink partnered with Aphria to host our second annual Medical Cannabis and Cancer Care forum. If you weren’t able to join us, here’s what you missed. And, if you were there, here’s a recap! 


On June 21st it was all about medical cannabis and cancer care. There was a great turnout as people were eager to hear about the latest in medical cannabis information, research, and advocacy.

THE QUESTIONS:

How can medical cannabis help someone who is undergoing cancer treatment?

How can someone access medical cannabis in Canada?

Why is there so much stigma around medical cannabis use?

What needs to be done in terms of medical cannabis education for health care professionals and government agencies in Canada?

THE CONCLUSIONS:

Ultimately, it was concluded that there is still a lot to be done for medical cannabis research and education in Canada. Our panelists argued that without proper education as to what medical cannabis is and how it is beneficial, the stigma about its use cannot and will not be reduced.

But, in the mean time, we must continue to advocate and educate – focusing on the breakthroughs in research around medical cannabis and cancer care, as opposed to vilifying the plant because recreational use is not yet legal in Canada. Patients have the right to ask for a second opinion if their doctor refuses to suggest medical cannabis as part of their treatment plan. And, ultimately, as Canadian citizens, we “vote with our wallets” (Erin Prosk) by choosing to support trustworthy cannabis clinics/centres and raising the standard of care that they offer.

If you weren’t able to make it to the forum and you want to know more about medical cannabis and cancer care:

Check out the full recording of the forum on our Facebook page!

A BIG THANK YOU

Thank you to our amazing panelists, Dr. Vincent Maida, Lynda Balneaves, Erin Prosk, Beth Harris, and Julie Vickaryous. And thank you to Aphria for partnering with us in making this forum possible.

The realm of medical cannabis can be confusing. After all, isn’t marijuana illegal? Isn’t it bad for you? Doesn’t it cause cancer? In this post, we hope to clear up a few of the common myths and misconceptions about medical cannabis and cancer care. At the end, hopefully you’ll be a little more informed and a little less hesitant to ask your doctor how medical cannabis could help you or a loved one through their cancer journey.


#1. Like smoking cigarettes, medical cannabis causes cancer.

A correlation between medical cannabis and lung cancer has yet to be proven. There is a lot of controversy around the topic because scientific research has made a case for both sides of the argument (it causes lung cancer and it doesn’t cause lung cancer). A lot of health sites and magazines suggest practicing caution when smoking medical cannabis because of the uncertainty. However, a lot of people forget that it can be consumed in many forms (smoking is just one of them!).

While smoking medical cannabis provides fastest relief for symptoms, there are alternative ways to use it: vaping, edibles, sprays, patches, etc. All of which can still provide relief for those who are concerned or skeptical about the health effects of smoking. Check out this list for more details on the alternative ways to consume medical cannabis.

 

#2. Medical cannabis leads to the use of harder drugs.

Similar to the lack of correlation between medical cannabis use and lung cancer, cannabis use has not been proven to be a gateway drug. An article by The Guardian showed that one’s likelihood to try harder drugs after using cannabis most likely “comes down to availability of and attitudes towards drugs rather than an actual causal pathway.” In other words, factors such as a person’s predisposition to drugs or having an experimental attitude are most likely the reason they would move from cannabis (medical or recreational) to harder drugs.

Ultimately, while some research shows that people who use harder drugs (like cocaine or heroin) first used cannabis, The Guardian’s article argues that this is most likely do to the “societal ordering” of drugs. Meaning, these people were inevitably going to experiment with harder drugs. Cannabis is often the most accessible drug for people to start with.

 

#3. Medical cannabis laws are related to increased usage among adolescents.

As hinted to above, there is a difference between the medical use of cannabis and the recreational use. As of right now, the recreational use of cannabis is illegal (but Justin Trudeau might change that). Medical cannabis is legal for certain people and has major restrictions attached to it (we’ll talk about that more in the next myth). So, just because medical cannabis is legal, doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily see an influx of cannabis on the streets.

A 2014 study by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University in the United States was conducted over a 20-year period to determine high school students’ interactions with cannabis in a variety of states before and after medical cannabis was legalized. The study compared these students with students in a variety of other states who had not legalized medical cannabis over the 20-year time period. The result: they found no correlation between students’ cannabis consumption and medical cannabis laws.

 

#4. Once eligible, you can get medical cannabis whenever/wherever you want.

Just because someone is eligible to use medical cannabis doesn’t mean there are no rules on how it can be used and produced. Here’s a crash course on some of the major rules in Canada. If you want a more in-depth look, check out this article.

Ways to Access Medical Cannabis: A person must receive medical documentation from their health care practitioner to be eligible for medical cannabis use. From there, they can decide whether they will register with one of Canada’s licensed producers or register with Health Canada to produce a limited amount on their own (or have a caregiver produce it for them). This requires an application process that verifies restrictions around where the plant can be grown and stored.

Possession Limit: People who are eligible to use medical cannabis are only allowed to have a 30 day supply/150 grams of dried marijuana (or the equivalent if in another form) at a time. 

Law Enforcement: Law enforcement officers can request proof that one’s possession of cannabis is legal at any time. They can also call Health Canada (on a 24-hour basis) and any licensed producer to verify a person’s registration.

Some Things Are Still Illegal: Even though some people are allowed to use cannabis for medical reasons they are still prohibited from using it for recreational use. This would include selling, providing, or giving cannabis to another person or producing/obtaining more than the maximum limits noted in their registration certificate.

 

#5. Medical cannabis cures cancer.

It’s important we make this clear: there is NO proof that medical cannabis cures cancer. Medical cannabis is used by cancer patients because of its ability to relieve many of cancer treatment’s side effects, such as: nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite. While this can significantly improve one’s quality of life throughout their cancer diagnosis and treatment, there is no scientific evidence to prove it will actually cure the disease.

 


If this post interested you at all or if you want to know more…

Our FREE Medical Cannabis forum is happening this Wednesday, June 21st, 2017…

Come out and hear from a group of expert panelists about medical cannabis use, cancer care, legal access to treatment, and more!

Register Here

 

 

Name: Erin Prosk

Hometown: Quesnel, BC

Current city: Montreal, QC


Number of years working in medical cannabis and what do you do?

I’ve worked in medical cannabis for a very long, yet also remarkably short 7 years, always in the area of patient access and education.  I first launched a nonprofit dispensary and cannabis kitchen with my partner Adam Greenblatt until 2014 when we opened Santé Cannabis to support patient access under the MMPR and the research mandate in Quebec.

How did you get involved in the medical cannabis space?

I had been interested in drug policy and social justice as a student but was unable to match my passion with my skillset in analytical chemistry and applied math.  Finally, I was convinced that I had to jump into medical cannabis with full abandon. I am very grateful for the support and mentorship that led me to my place in entrepreneurship, education and clinical research.

What was your first impression of cannabis as medicine?

That it had massive untapped potential to ease suffering and improve quality of life.  While I knew many cannabis connoisseurs at McGill, my first contact with medical cannabis came when meeting my partner’s father Michael Greenblatt.  He was 25 years into fighting MS and took a multitude of different medications to keep his symptoms at bay, sometimes at very high doses. A few drops of cannabis oil, baked into a cookie- and later on into his favourite Dark Chocolate peppermints- eased his nausea, relaxed his spasms, boosted his appetite and lifted his mood. This was a transformative experience for me.

What’s one of the biggest challenges of working in the medical cannabis industry?

Building or maintaining bridges between different interests.  With the diversity of voices in the cannabis industry, it can be frustrating to hear only the loudest ones or those that have been raised onto a platform.

What is the biggest misconception or myth about medical cannabis?

That it is somehow ‘different’ and by extension makes those who use it ‘different’.   This is something that I find even patient advocates can perpetuate and need to be conscious of. Cannabis is a natural medicine that we need to re-normalize into our society. By re-normalizing we must seek evidence-based information, and we must accept the limitations of that research and the potential risks.  I find that people who use cannabis as medicine can feel isolated and marginalized.  At Santé Cannabis we work to empower patients to take the reins of their own health care and to consider medical cannabis as a perfectly normal treatment to integrate into their daily lives.

What resources do you use to keep up to date on medical cannabis?

I am unfortunately an un-intentional social media luddite- I can barely keep up with my emails.  I am lucky to work with a great team who support my deficiencies by emailing me links to new articles and papers.  They swear by Twitter and Facebook for engaging with other advocates and leaders in the cannabis and health care space.

Who do you see as having the greatest impact to the field of medical cannabis right now? 

While legalization is a disruptor on the horizon that we need to keep in our focus, I am incredibly optimistic about the number of clinical trials underway in Canada right now.  I can see the path to broad access to innovative new medical cannabis products, pharmacy distribution and universal cost-coverage opening up in front of us.


DON’T FORGET:

Our free Medical Cannabis forum is happening on June 21st, 2017

Come out and hear from panelists, like Dr. Maida, about what’s up-and-coming in the field of medical cannabis and what that means for you.

Register Here!

Name: Beth Harris

Hometown: Waterford, Ontario

Current city: Leamington, Ontario


Number of years working in medical cannabis and what do you do?

2 yrs on August 10th…and my position is the Patient Ambassador

How did you get involved in the medical cannabis space? 

I initially starting using cannabis on a daily basis to help cope with the loss of my son.  Then 11 months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer which truly started my involvement in cannabis.

What was your first impression of cannabis as medicine?

My first impression of cannabis was a very positive one. The thought of being able to manage my symptoms without the use of opiates ; was very exciting and a medicine that I would certainly entertain

What’s one of the biggest challenges of working in the medical cannabis industry?

The biggest challenge is getting away from the stigma of cannabis; educating people on how this medicine works.

What is the biggest misconception or myth about medical cannabis?

The biggest misconception is that all people that smoke cannabis do it to get high.  I don’t think people understand the difference between THC and CBD and the different affects both offer

What resources do you use to keep up to date on medical cannabis?

Aphria continues to update on social media venues ie/ facebook, twitter, instragram, blogs. We also provide news blasts to our patients who have an email address but we also post all updates and changes on the Aphria website as well as the patient portal

Who do you see as having the greatest impact to the field of medical cannabis right now?

Personally, I feel the physicians have a great impact on this field.  I feel the more physicians are educated and feel comfortable prescribing cannabis as part of the patients plan of care; the more the public will feel more confident with using cannabis as an alternative medicine.  I also personally feel that personal testimonials definitely have an impact on how other see the use of cannabis.


DON’T FORGET:

Our free Medical Cannabis forum is happening tonight (June 21st, 2017)!

Come out and hear from panelists, like Beth, about what’s up-and-coming in the field of medical cannabis and what that means for you.

Register Here!