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70-year-old Saint John man suffers heart attack after consuming cannabis lollipop

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Two Saint John doctors who treated a 70-year-old patient for a heart attack induced by eating a cannabis lollipop, say they’re worried about the unknown risk posed by marijuana edibles, due to be legalized in Canada by next fall. 

« The dosage could easily be underestimated by the users because it doesn’t give you that immediate hit, » said Dr. Robert Stevenson, who saw the patient shortly after he showed up in the emergency room of the Saint John Regional Hospital just over a year ago.

« He was very paranoid, very upset, thought he was going to die at home and then this crushing chest pain started. »  

Stevenson, a cardiologist, recognized the man as his patient. He was already being treated for coronary artery disease. 

He said the man was not a pot smoker and hadn’t smoked pot since his youth.

However, the patient did quickly disclose that he’d taken the lollipop from a friend, hoping to get some relief for his arthritis pain and a little help to sleep. 

Stevenson called on Dr. Alexandra Saunders to try to figure out how much drug the man had consumed. 

Work to determine dose

She asked the patient where he had gotten it from and after conducting an internet search of the dispensary in the area, she called to ask what was in the candy. 

Saunders explained that she was inquiring on behalf of a patient but because she wasn’t a member of the dispensary, says the person on the phone would not give her the dosing information.  

« So I just went onto their website, where it was available anyway. »

Doctors who treated him say they’re worried about the unknown risks of marijuana edibles. 1:01

Saunders said the lollipop contained about 90 mg of THC, whereas a single joint contains about seven mg of THC.

She said the patient didn’t realized what he’d done until he started hallucinating, and she thinks the psychological stress may have triggered the cardiac event.

She said THC also has an inflammatory impact on the lining of the blood vessels, which also have been a factor. 

When asked what dispensary she contacted, Saunders could not recall the name of the shop but thinks it may have been in uptown  Saint John. 

She couldn’t remember the name brand of the lollipop, and the patient never did provide a wrapper.  

Widespread misunderstanding

Stevenson and Saunders had to work to determine the amount of THC in the marijuana lollipop the man consumed. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

Stevenson said the man did recover from his anxiety and was discharged from the hospital within 24 hours. 

« I’ve seen him a couple of times, » Stevenson said. « So far, so good. »

Still, the doctors view this case as an early warning of problems to come. 

They’ve written an article titled « Marijuana Lollipop-Induced Myocardial Infarction, » which has been published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 

« It heightens our awareness of how these marijuana-naive patients, particularly elderly patients, could easily stumble onto this, looking for some form of relief, » Stevenson said of the case.

As chief internal medicine resident, Saunders said she just came off a rotation where she saw a large population of elderly patients with different types of arthritis.

The federal government plans to make cannabis edibles legal by Oct. 17. (Radio Canada)

She was surprised, she said, by how many of them expressed an interest in using recreational marijuana for pain treatment.

« And these are smaller, older ladies that I never would have thought of, before, » said Saunders. 

Both physicians think there is a widespread misunderstanding that marijuana is a kind of cure-all.

In reality, they said, it’s only medically indicated for just a few problems, including nausea related to cancer treatments and certain seizure conditions.

The federal government has pledged to legalize cannabis edibles no later than Oct. 17, 2019.



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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