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Tilray VP grilled over marijuana benefits on Parliament Hill

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The Vice President of Patient Research and Services for a medical marijuana company in Nanaimo is telling MPs that making marijuana easier to get can reduce problems tied to alcohol and hard drug abuse.

Phillipe Lucas of Tilray has been giving testimony before the House of Commons Health Committee.  They’re investigating the potential harms associated with cannabis use.

Lucas was in Ottawa Tuesday to present some of his own research.  He says he told the Committee that while 1 in 10 people regularly using cannabis can develop a dependence, the vast majority can kick the habit with no formal treatment.   He also talked about a subject he specializes in – the cannabis substitution effect –  where people consciously, or unconsciously, use cannabis instead of alcohol and other drugs.  Lucas says that can actually benefit society, because when cannabis is more available use of more harmful drugs drops.

Lucas says there was a heavily partisan tone to the questions he faced for more than an hour afterwards.

The committee will be hearing from more witnesses Wednesday.

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