Kamloops doctor involved in marijuana research

Dr. Ian Mitchell has been added to the advisory team behind Doctors for Responsible Access

By Kamloops This Week

Dr. Ian Mitchell has been added to the advisory team behind Doctors for Responsible Access, an organization focused on objective discussion on the legalization of marijuana.

The national organization, composed of physicians and nurse practitioners, supports responsible access to marijuana but wants to ensure the federal task force examining the issue receives an informed medical perspective.

Among proposed principles, the group wants the federal government to ensure the medical community receives the support and education they need to be part of the solution and protect public health.

It also wants to ensure access includes restrictions aimed at reducing risk that could include mandatory education or only allowing for smaller quantities for young adults and youth.

Mitchell, an emergency-room doctor at Royal Inland Hospital, has been recognized nationally for his work on the subject of medical marijuana.

He is also one of the lead investigators in a study looking at the effectiveness of cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder. It is expected to kick into gear in the fall.

The $350,000 study will be run out of Kelowna and involve researchers at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Another partner is Tilray, a Nanaimo-based licence medical marijuana producer. The study is a first for Canada.

“The government should have been doing this research,” Mitchell said.

It’s anticipated about 40 people will be part of the study.

The goal is to have people who have PTSD as a result of sexual assault, military service or who are first responders.

The federal government pays for medical marijuana prescribed for military veterans, Mitchell said. Many are using it to treat PTSD.