Legal pot should spark healthy dialogue among care providers

Although recreational marijuana is now legal, hospital staff should not ask patients if they are users unless it’s relevant to their treatment, Elyse tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“They shouldn’t be collecting extraneous information,” says Sunshine. “If they don’t need it then they shouldn’t be asking for it.”

Health-care teams commonly ask patients about their alcohol or drug consumption in case it contraindicates the administration of other drugs, she says.

“If you are drunk when you walk into emergency you are treated differently medically because you can’t give certain medications when someone’s taken alcohol,” Sunshine says. “The same would apply with cannabis, legal or not.”

But if you’ve sprained your ankle and don’t need any medication, it may not be relevant that you consumed cannabis, she says.

The federal Cannabis Act and its regulations, which came into force Oct. 17, set the framework for the production, distribution, sale, import and export of cannabis by federal licence holders in Canada.

Under the Act, a distinct system will be maintained for access to cannabis for medical purposes, according to an Ontario Hospital Association guide.

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