A Canadian Mountie who was prescribed marijuana by doctors to help him cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been banned from front line duties. Ronald Francis, who serves in the J Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police force in New Brunswick, is barred from carrying weapons or even driving a patrol car while taking his mediation. The corporal now smokes three grams – or up to 15 joints – a day after being prescribed the treatment on November 4 and insists the drug does not impair his ability to do his job.
Cpl Francis blamed the duties of his job for bringing on the stress condition about eight years ago and found the medical cannabis was the best means of dealing with the illness. Under his medical regime, Cpl Francis smokes marijuana at breakfast, lunch and dinner. He told CBC news: ‘I’m just building up my immunity to THC levels, if I was to smoke two I’d probably get stoned to the point that I’m just totally relaxed. I’m still functional. But your nervous system is relaxed, and that makes a big difference.’
The officer said there was no official policy against Mounties smoking medical marijuana.
But RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Moreau said it would portray the wrong message to the public if officers were seen smoking cannabis on duty. He added that the organisation was entitled to challenge medical treatments given to staff and seek a second opinion if necessary, but RCPM was looking into ways to accommodate the medical need to take marijuana. Cpl Francis said he was first prescribed anti-depressants by doctors when he developed signs of metal stress.
He claimed this did not bring any significant improvement and he soon turned to alcohol before deciding to try alternative medicine. He said he knew he would face opposition from his bosses because of the organisation’s anti-drug stance, but decided to opt for cannabis because it had positive results on his condition. ‘It was for my own health. In doing that I realized that I have to come first. The organization doesn’t come first, Ron Francis comes first. For my own health. And I’m glad I did that,’
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