Docs at Quebec hospital allow pot use in rooms

Medical marijuana. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO/Cliff DesPeaux)

Medical marijuana. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO/Cliff DesPeaux)

Brian Daly, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:11 PM ET

MONTREAL — The main hospital in Quebec's Eastern Townships has put governments on the spot with its policy on pot.

Doctors, dentists and pharmacists at CHUS hospital this week unanimously approved marijuana use by patients who are federally licensed to own the drug.

The patients will have to use vapour machines and bring their own pot into the hospital.

Administration is expected to decide soon if it will formally approve the doctors' recommendation.

The Canadian Medical Association wouldn't comment on the case Friday, but the CHUS doctors appear to be out of step with the CMA on the issue.

In a June 2013 position paper, the CMA said there was "no clinical evidence" to support the use of marijuana as a medical treatment.

"We have no information on potency, dosage or how it interacts with other therapies," said the CMA. "The beneficial effects of marijuana have not been rigorously tested and it has a huge potential to cause harm."

Patients at CHUS hospital who want to use pot will have to comply with several conditions, including using "a vapourizer in a negative pressure room or a private room," said Dr. Serge Lepage, president of the CHUS doctors' association.

Lepage says the marijuana policy only applies to his hospital but he adds, "I feel that it will stimulate discussion elsewhere."

The issue first came to light in January, when terminal cancer patient Charles Bury's doctor allowed him to inhale marijuana in his room at the CHUS.

Bury died a month later.

The Quebec government has said it will monitor the situation before deciding whether to introduce regulations.


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