CMPA position

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 52, No. 9, November 2010, Page 436 Letters

When we asked for the Canadian Medical Protective Association’s position on the topic of prescribing marijuana, Luce Lavoie, the director of communications at the CMPA, directed us to their statement entitled, “Marijuana for medical reasons: The Medical Declaration form,” originally published October 2001, revised September 2009. Here is the introduction:

“Marijuana is not approved for use as a drug in Canada. Health Canada states that “no marijuana product has been issued a notice of compliance” and notes that indications, safety and risks have not been adequately studied and the appropriate dosage is unclear. 

“Many regulatory authorities (Colleges) have considered these facts. Some have stated clearly that physicians should not support an application for the medical use of marijuana, while others have chosen to simply remind their members of the importance of evidence-based medicine and the lack of evidence about the benefits and risks of this substance. 

“However, patients who believe that marijuana is effective for treating certain symptoms from which they suffer can apply to Health Canada for authorization to possess and use marijuana under the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (the Regulations). 

Those Regulations require the applicant (patient) to submit two declarations, one of which is the applicant’s and the other a Medical Declaration signed by the applicant’s medical practitioner.”

The full statement is available at                            

. CMPA position. BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 9, November, 2010, Page(s) 436 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply