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Vets lobby to expand medical cannabis laws to include dogs, cats


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OTTAWA — Parliament Hill is going to the dogs today as veterinarians lobby MPs to authorize the use of medical cannabis for critters.

The vets are bringing five dogs to the Hill to draw attention to what they see as glaring omissions in the legalized regimes for medical and recreational marijuana.

The law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe pot for pets, even though preliminary research suggests it could be beneficial in treating pain, seizures, anxiety and other disorders — much as it is for humans.

Moreover, the law requires labels on cannabis products warning they be kept out of reach of children, but there’s no similar warning that they could be harmful to animals.

Dr. Sarah Silcox, president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, says her group has been told the omissions were likely “an oversight” that can be considered when the legalized cannabis regime is reviewed in three years.

But she wants more urgent action.

“For our patients, they age much faster than we do and this really isn’t an issue that can wait for a three-year review,” Silcox said in an interview.

Because vets can’t legally prescribe cannabinoids for animals, or even offer advice to pet owners on the most suitable products or dosages, Silcox said some people are taking it upon themselves to administer cannabis to their pets. They’re using products sold for human consumption or unregulated “black market” products marketed for animal use, but about which veterinarians have concerns about “safety and purity.”

“Veterinarians are able to prescribe almost any other drug, including things like fentanyl and other opioids and … prescription drugs that contain cannabis derivatives and yet we’re not able to authorize the use of cannabis itself,” Silcox said.

The prohibition on veterinary use of cannabinoids has made research into the potential benefits “challenging,” but Silcox said preliminary studies suggest positive benefits for managing pain from arthritis and other conditions, epilepsy, anxiety and general inflammatory conditions.

It is particularly useful for treating cats, who are more sensitive than dogs to the other pain medications currently used for animals, she said.

Silcox’s group and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have lobbied the government to authorize veterinary use of cannabinoids. Silcox said they’ve been told by the policy adviser to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor that it is not a priority at the moment, but can be considered when the Cannabis Act is reviewed in three years.

However, Silcox noted the government is in the process of reviewing cannabis regulations now in preparation for adding edibles and oils to the list of legal products next year. It would take only a “few small changes” to add vets to the medical practitioners authorized to prescribe cannabinoids and to change references to people to patients, covering both the human and animal variety, she said.

The Canadian Press


From Night to Day – how a visit with our clinic’s psychologist changd Steven’s life

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From Night to Day

Steven had struggled with his inability to concentrate since he was 15 years old. This lack of concentration affected many parts of his life. He lacked energy, had anxiety and a social problem that kept him from being able to be out and socialize with people. He knew he needed medication to help him.

He had shared his issue with many medical professionals over the years but he never got the help he needed. He talked to the Nurse Practitioner (NP) in the Street Clinic and was so impressed that he listened and was sympathetic and supportive.

The NP arranged for him see the clinic psychologist and wrote a prescription for medication used for ADHD. From there Steven’s life has gone up and up. He says it changed from night to day. He has much less anxiety, feels more confident and his functionality in life has continued to improve.  He feels this help has been a really big positive change for him and he wants to credit the Street Clinic team for their approach to really helping him.

Dealing with Distress 

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How to interact with people in an uncertain world

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I want to propose three general ground rules for interacting with people right now.

The rules are: (1) When you make plans, make them very specific, and avoid changing them at the last minute. (2) Defer to the most cautious person in your presence. (3) Do not take it personally if someone is more cautious than you.
To elaborate, with examples I made up:
(1) Be very detailed about any plans you make to see other people. If you invite friends over to sit in your driveway and have a drink, don’t suggest as people arrive that you sit on the back deck instead. Among your friends might be someone intending to give herself 10 feet of space instead of 6. She might have been excited about the driveway idea because it’s not only outdoors but effectively unbounded; she knew she’d be able to make as much space for herself as she felt she needed. Then you move to the deck and space is more limited, and she is faced with a really awkward decision.
If you and your co-worker decide to order from Domino’s, don’t switch it up and order from a local place instead. Your co-worker might be reassured by Domino’s no-human-contact-out-of-the-oven policy. That might be the most important thing to him.
So maybe you’re rolling your eyes right now and thinking, “But all the latest research shows that transmission on food surfaces is not something to be concerned about. Domino’s policy is overkill.” Or, “Transmission outdoors is super unlikely. The deck is fine!”
Not the point!
The point is that trying to make decisions on the fly is incredibly stressful. You might be 100% confident that you understand the relative risk of things. But you don’t know what other people’s understanding is. And the split-second after being told that the location or the menu has changed is not a good scenario for evaluating risk, especially with an audience. Don’t put people in that position.
(2) On that note, when you and a person in your presence have different (verbalized or apparent) levels of caution, the obvious and decent thing to do is match the more cautious person’s behaviors. If you don’t wear a mask but you notice one of your co-workers tends to, then put on a mask when you are going to be anywhere near them. Their mask usage is a clear indicator that they think mask usage is important. So match that caution in their presence as a courtesy, whether or not you acknowledge the public health value of wearing one.
If you and a friend want to take a walk, and you weren’t thinking 6 feet of space was essential, but they suggest a route and mention that they like it because there is plenty of space to give each other 6 feet, then be conscientious and pay attention, and give them space. If you get to a narrow area, recognize that you’ll have to go single-file until it widens again.
Look for body language. Get in the habit of noticing whether people are inching away or leaning back. This tells you that they are not comfortable. They are more cautious than your instincts. That doesn’t mean your instincts are wrong. But in the presence of this person, you need to defer to theirs.
(3) This also doesn’t mean that this person has an issue with you in particular. Do not take it personally.
Some people are approaching the world with an understanding that there are essentially two groups of people: the ones I live with, and everyone else. From a public health perspective, the standards I apply to interacting with anyone in the latter group should be consistent, whether you are someone I work with, a friend, a relative, or a stranger. I do not and cannot know whether you are carrying a potentially deadly, poorly understood, highly contagious virus, so to the greatest extent possible, I’m going to behave like you are carrying it, no matter who you are. It is more nuanced than that, of course, but not much. The point is, even if you’re not careless, the relative you just met for lunch yesterday might have been careless over the weekend. I do not, and cannot know.
So if someone says no thanks to your back deck or favorite pizza, or they wear a mask in a situation you find unnecessary, or they give you a wide berth around the corner of the trail, it’s really, truly, not about you. People want to interact with the world, and some of us never stop thinking about how to do it right in this not-at-all right world we find ourselves in.
I hope these are ideas people can agree to. I hope that, even if you are tired of modifying your behavior, or skeptical about the seriousness of this virus, you will consider these thoughts with a spirit of kindness. I hope, if you have kids, you will talk to them about how their behavior can not only affect other people’s physical health, but also their emotional well-being while trying to navigate many decisions.
Thanks for reading. Be good to each other. Stay safe. Deep breaths.
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august, 2020

fri07augAll Daymon17WALK TO BREATHE from Calgary to Edmonton(All Day)

thu27aug(aug 27)12:00 amsun30(aug 30)11:59 pmHUGE Garage Sale for Crime Prevention12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) PIDHERNEY CURLING CENTRE, RED DEER, AB, 4725 43 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z3 Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre