27 May Medical Marijauna

Just because the courts make an award for medical marijuana in one case does not automatically mean that they will make such an award in another case.  Judges review each case on its own merit and look at whether there is evidence to prove that marijuana is medically necessary for that particular individual.

In the case of Torchia v. Siegrist, 2015 BCSC 57, the Plaintiff’s claim for medical marijuana was rejected because there was no evidence to support making such an award.

The Plaintiff smoked marijuana recreationally on occasion before the accident.  After the accident, he sought out marijuana to ease his back pain and consumed two joints a day.  He asked his family doctor for a medical marijuana prescription and was given one for the equivalent of two joints per day.

The family doctor made no reference to use of marijuana for pain in his expert report and testified at trial that he was not an expert on the treatment of pain with marijuana.  None of the other doctors who treated the Plaintiff commented on the use of medical marijuana either, except the physiatrist who said that he had patients that reported smoking marijuana to treat their pain.  The judge decided that the physiatrist’s evidence could not be taken as a doctor’s recommendation based on medical evidence that it is capable of treating pain.  Since there was no evidence before the court “or any reference to any conclusive studies that suggest treating pain with marijuana”, the judge declined to make such an award for this Plaintiff.