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Canadian Students Launch Project to Include Medical Marijuana in Health Care Plans

Canadian Students Launch Project to Include Medical Marijuana in Health Care Plans

Dina Al-Shibeeb
Students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. will have medical marijuana included in their health care package for a year. The pilot project is part of an experienmention to see if students need medical cannabis. (File photo via The Globe and Mail)

Some adult Canadians who take medical marijuana are roiling over the fact that their cannabis-based prescription is destined for taxation. However, some students at the University of British Columbia are experimenting with a pilot project to include marijuana in health care plans.

Michelle Thiessen, who represents an organization called Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the University of British Columbia, told Global News in an interview that the project was launched by setting aside $20,000 to cover the costs of medical marijuana prescriptions through the students’ union.

“So it’s not just a free for all. It’s for students in great need that really need this medicine,” Thiessen told Global News.

The unique project is set to last a year, only then will the students’ union cast its final say on whether it wants to make medical marijuana as a permanent part of the health care plans for the university students. 

The experimental project is expected to provide information on student use of medical marijuana.

“We don’t have any data,” Thiessen said.

She added:

“We don’t know if any students are using medical cannabis or what conditions they’re using it for, so this is a great opportunity to see what’s happening on our campus.”

Medical Cannabis to be Taxed

In late January, Canadian medical marijuana patients protested outside of the Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s Toronto constituency office, demanding that their cannabis-based prescriptions should be treated like any other drug.  

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Canada, which doesn’t tax prescription drugs, is planning to tax all forms of marijuana, both medical and recreational, once legalization becomes effective.

Canadian medical marijuana patients dubbed the inevitable taxation as the “sin tax,” and urged the government not to paintbrush cannabis as all the same.

However, there is some silver lining for Canadian medical marijuana patients. Recently, Sun Life became the first Canadian insurance company that offers coverage for medical marijuana.

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