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Drug Testing News
Tue Sep 16 2003
By Franco Pingue
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's government-grown marijuana is
unfit for human consumption and makes some patients sick,
people who have tried it say.
The federal government has permitted more than 600 Canadians
to legally buy medical marijuana, the first country in the
world to do so. They are patients whose doctors prescribed pot
after conventional treatments failed.
"It's not marijuana, it's ground-up stems, twigs and beads and
it's not fit for human consumption," said Jim Wakeford, who
uses marijuana to battle AIDS (news - web sites) symptoms.
"The marijuana was offensive and obnoxious smelling, it was
not helpful and it gave me bad headaches the two times I tried
Marco Renda, who smokes marijuana to help symptoms of liver
disease hepatitis C, said he temporarily used government dope
after someone stole his marijuana plants.
"I don't like it, and even my doctor advised me not to use it
because it does nothing to help my symptoms," said Renda.
A recent study by patients-rights group Canadians for Safe
Access claims government dope contains 3 percent of delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main active ingredient, not
the 10 percent the government says.
Phillipe Lucas, a spokesman with Canadians for Safe Access,
who smokes marijuana to ease hepatitis C symptoms, said he
cancelled his government-ordered dope.
Despite the complaints, Health Canada said its dope is
effective and cannot be returned for refunds.
"We question the validity of the test results that they have
put forward because they haven't been open and transparent
about where the tests were done," said Krista Apse,
spokeswoman at Health Canada.
Canadians for Safe Access, which said test marijuana was
obtained through a reliable source with access to government
pot, urged the government to conduct more tests.
But the government said the medical marijuana is produced
using "quality standardised marijuana" and its THC content
level is about 10 percent.