Letters to the editor.

Letter: Not in a position to practice medicine

Feeling obliged to comment as a licensed pharmacist, with a master of pharmacy degree.

Regarding Bob Jaenicke’s letter (Penticton Western News, Feb. 17, Not thumbing our noses at council) about his frustrations at Okanagan Cannabis Solutions — I feel obliged to comment as a licensed pharmacist, with a master of pharmacy degree from the United Kingdom.

As all of our Penticton marijuana dispensaries certainly may mean very well, you are absolutely not in a position to practice any form of medicine, nor dispense medicine. It is not ethical for you to be talking about marijuana, an unlicensed drug, as a medicine whilst earning money from the sale of it. I am very much pro-legalization of all recreational drugs, but medicinal drugs should not be touched by anybody bar a doctor or pharmacist, as is the legal consensus in North America.

I am fed up of people quoting lack of death statistics from marijuana (which may indeed be true) and more worryingly, indications for it’s use (“arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, MS, glaucoma, seizures”). Because marijuana is unfortunately classified, it is literally unethical for professionals to research it via randomized controlled drug trials versus placebo, so we cannot draw safety and efficacy conclusions yet. Although, we do have a small number of compelling studies linking marijuana with schizophrenia (Google Swedish soldiers study, for instance).

What I am trying to say is: you, and unqualified dispensary owners like you, should absolutely not be leading this venture into the world of classified drugs. The fact that you are is deeply concerning. The fact that Trudeau has no plan is annoying. The fact that the city is already granting licenses to unqualified people is confusing, but moreover, the fact that you would hold my city to ransom due to the bad business of unaffordable legal costs, is morally unforgivable.

Martyn Lewis, MPharm