Canada caps veterans' medical marijuana use

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Ottawa (AFP)

Canada lowered Tuesday a reimbursement limit for veterans' use of medical marijuana after prescriptions shot up more than tenfold in the last two years.

The government capped covered daily consumption to three grams (0.11 ounces) at a price of Can$8.50 (US$6.32) per gram.

"We consulted with veterans, their advocates, stakeholders, medical experts and reviewed existing research on using marijuana for medical purposes and developed a balanced policy," Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said in a statement.

The government's auditor general earlier this year had questioned a previous cap of 10 grams per veteran per day, saying the military could not explain its rationale for the dosage limit.

Meanwhile, Health Canada warned that more than five grams per day could pose increased risks to health, including lung and heart disease, and dependency on the psychoactive drug.

Health Canada data shows average Canadian consumption of medical marijuana is 2.6 grams per day.