Letters to the editor. Western News graphic

Letter: Herbal drugs need more study

Hello again, thank you for all of your replies on Facebook and via the newspaper to my letter to the editor (Penticton Western News, Feb. 24, Not in a position to practice medicine).

Here is a summary of what I understood from them.

Apparently, I don’t like marijuana dispensaries. Apparently, I represent the pharmaceutical industry (?) and I desire that herbal products remain classified. Also apparently, I want to prevent you from smoking marijuana medicinally.

This is very strange, because they aren’t my opinions at all. I certainly don’t recall stating this in my letter. Let me clarify.

It does not concern me how you evaluate which treatment is right for you. You don’t need to see a doctor for a prescription if you don’t want to. You don’t need to see a pharmacist for an opinion about the drug/herb/treatment if you don’t wish to.

I would very much like to see herbal drugs declassified for private, personal use and properly studied.

The problem I have is with unqualified people promoting cannabis and making money from it in the process. I like to refer to these individuals as ‘complicit villains.’

Amongst the Facebook backlash, a young lady commented that marijuana is (verbatim) “proven to kill cancer cells.” Herein lies the problem. Some components of marijuana have indeed been shown to kill ‘some’ cancer cells, in some specific situations — in mice.

Conversely, ‘some’ components of marijuana have been shown to increase the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells. Once again, in mice. (Mckallip et al, journal of immunology 2005).

Please note the ‘mice.’ The pharmacist would call this ‘compelling’ preclinical evidence, not conclusive. The pharmacist wouldn’t yet go so far to state that inhaling passive weed smoke may increase the incidence of breast cancer by the same token that I wouldn’t state to a cancer patient that using marijuana will cure them.

Notice that the pharmacist leaves a reference as to where his data came from. This is because the pharmacist is trained and regulated in ethics.

Martyn Lewis, MPharm

Penticton

Just Posted

Penticton ANAVETS members want information on club closure

Club members haven’t been told when, or if, their club will reopen

Penticton Vees Teddy Bear Toss night

Game is on Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre against the Nanaimo Clippers

Meet two of BC’s tiniest service pups

Medical therapy dogs changed Princeton woman’s life

Group to observe the winter solstice at Pen Henge

Public invited to ‘Pen Henge’ on Munson Mountain in Penticton

Kelowna-developed app brings static images to life

Maxogram links static images to video for a whole new take on marketing and information

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

Hurdles ahead for Sicamous off-road vehicle bylaw

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with district

FortisBC to lower natural gas rates in 2018

Rate changes to impact the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Interior and Vancouver Island

Visit with Santa amidst the Big White snow

Snow lovers can head up to Big White this month to visit with Santa

Four-month-old baby girl critically injured in Toronto

Baby, a man and a woman in serious condition

Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

What were Canadians were curious about: Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

Democrat wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

Democrat Doug Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset against Roy Moore

Most Read