(Nov 14, Hamilton)
Emergency Room Physician Dr Ira Price, also an expert in cannabinoid medicine is angered.  He calls the plan to tax medical cannabis “a true medical failure by our government” and says it is actually a “slap in the face to health care.”
Last week, the Government released its plans to tax medical cannabis at the same rate as the cannabis that will be sold in the government’s recreational cannabis stores, set to open on Canada Day, 2018.
Cannabis Leaf
“The proposed changes will not see a difference between medical and recreational cannabis, with taxation being the same on both. It’s sad and unfortunate that our government truly doesn’t see cannabis as a medicine,” says Price.
On Monday, November 13th, Price shared his concerns, posting on social media a strongly worded letter in defense of patients that he also sent to government officials  :
“Dear Government….
Your Taxation plan on Medical Cannabis is in direct violation of our Health Care’s founding principle of Universality!! And this government’s proposal of it, shows an absolute lack of compassion for the pain and suffering of Canadians!
My name is Dr. Ira Price and I have been working with medical cannabis since 2010.
I think it is a shame that the same tax strategy will be applied to both medical and recreational cannabis. What the government is stating is that there is no medical value to medical cannabis and showing an absolute lack of compassion for the pain and suffering of Canadian citizens.
My clinic has 2400 patients, of whom most are on Fixed income. This taxation is a slap in their face and a slap to all of health care in Canada.
I spent the past 8 years fighting the opioid crisis in Canada, weaning thousands off of opioids! What this proposal EFFECTIVELY states is that OUR government does not care about the opioid crisis! Knowing that we have an effective method to combat it!
I am currently conducting a Health Canada REB approved study looking at the success of getting people off of opioids, amongst other things. Your proposal on adding a larger taxation to Cannabis for medical purposes is antithetical to Canada’s notion of Universal Health Care! And will inhibit people from stopping opioids!
All decent Canadians should be saddened by our governments move against what was once viewed as a leading Health Care System!
 – Dr Ira Price.
Price has said before that it was his work in the Emergency Department – and the devastation he sees there- that led him to cannabinoid medicine.  In his experience, the number one reason that patients come to the ER is various forms of pain. Too often, they are prescribed medications that can, in the long term, chronic setting,potentially cause more harm then good.  “We know that under the age of 45, 1 in 8 deaths is attributed to narcotics and in the population greater then 65 years old, nearly everyone will have a serious side effect to their opioid.   I believe I have a responsibility to help and educate people in areas where death can be avoided – proactively educating both health care professionals and the general public on safe and effective alternatives to opioids. One of these alternatives with great potential is Cannabis.”
The doctor has long worried that patients who truly benefit from cannabinoid medicines, and research on the medical aspects of cannabis might be forgotten as regulators focus on the recreational marketplace.
Dr Ira Price is a fascinating guest who can speak on this and many other aspects of cannabis in Canada.  Dr Price has been featured as an expert on the following :
CHCH TV Hamilton
Talk660 Radio Calgary
Urbanicity Magazine
Cannabis Digest
AM900 Hamilton
Global News
Newstalk 770 Calgary
CKNW AM980 Vancouver
SiriusXM radio
He is available for media interviews or commentary.
More about Synergy Health Services :  http://synergyhealthservices.ca
Dr Ira Price on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/irapricedoctor
Tracy Lamourie

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