Lifetime Supply: Doc Forced To Buy Patient’s Pot After Surgery


Photo: BC Daily Buzz
Michael Joinson will receive a settlement of $300,000 for botched back surgery, including $50,469 for medication including marijuana.

​A Canadian doctor has been ordered to pay a patient more than $300,000 to cover expenses including medical marijuana following a botched back surgery.

Michael Joinson, who heads the nonprofit Always Growing Green Society, which operates Taggs Medical Cannabis Dispensary in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, won a total settlement of $310,289.14 to cover his loss of earnings and medical care as well as medications to treat pain, including cannabis capsules, dried marijuana and cannabis edibles, reports Monisha Martins of Maple Ridge News.

Photo: Fraser Health Neurosurgery
Dr. Navraj Heran, above, going to be buying lots of marijuana. Not for himself — for a patient, after Dr. Navrag botched the surgery.

​Dr. Navraj Heran, a neurosurgeon, admitted he was negligent while performing surgery on Joinson’s lower back. However, Dr. Heran denied his surgery was solely responsible for the gradual onset of Joinson’s chronic pain.
Dr. Heran targeted the wrong vertebrae in the first operation, which resulted in Joinson having two additional surgeries to his lower back.
Joinson said he consented to the first surgery, did not consent to the second, then consented to the third.
Besides asking for compensation for lost wages, Joinson asked for more than $800,000 to fund a lifetime supply of medical marijuana.
The court awarded Joinson far less for his medical costs, including $50,469 (part of the $310,000 settlement) for medication, including marijuana.
Joinson said he smoked about 10 grams a day to treat pain in his back and knee, according to a written judgement released last week.
Another doctor testified that Joinson’s use of cannabis had allowed him to reduce his consumption of the narcotic painkiller morphine.
Joinson’s dispensary, Taggs, opened in Maple Ridge last year and currently has more than 300 medical marijuana patients as members.
All members of Taggs are required to have documentation from Health Canada or a registered physician to buy marijuana.