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Vets lobby to expand medical cannabis laws to include dogs, cats

In this photo taken Thursday, May 30, 2013, Companion Cannabis, by Holistic Therapeutics, a Marijuana medicinal tincture for dogs and cats is seen at La Brea Compassionate Caregivers, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles Thursday, May 30, 2013. Parliament Hill is going to the dogs today as veterinarians lobby MPs to authorize the use of medical cannabis for critters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Damian Dovarganes

OTTAWA — Veterinarians are lobbying MPs today to authorize the use of medical cannabis for animals.

The vets are bringing five dogs to Parliament Hill to draw attention to what they see as glaring omissions in the legalized regimes for medical and recreational marijuana.

The law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe pot for pets, even though preliminary research suggests it could be beneficial in treating pain, seizures, anxiety and other disorders — much as it is for humans.

Dr. Sarah Silcox, president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, says some people are taking it upon themselves to administer cannabis to their pets.

They’re using products sold for human consumption or unregulated “black market” products marketed for animal use, but about which veterinarians have concerns about “safety and purity.”

On the flip side, the law requires labels on cannabis products warning they should be kept out of reach of children, but there’s no similar warning that they could be harmful to animals.

The Canadian Press

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