Letters to the editor. Western News graphic

Letter: Missed the point

If all drugs should be dispensed only by a qualified pharmacist, then why isn’t alcohol?

Apparently I missed the point of Mr. Lewis’s previous letter (Penticton Western News, March 8, Herbal drugs need more study) and he feels that pharmacies should be the sole entity dispensing medical marijuana and that much more research should be done before legalization.

First of all, the price would quadruple from what it is now (retailers typically raise their prices anywhere from 100 per cent to 400 per cent of wholesale price.

My friend currently is under the medical marijuana program and gets his product from a government sanctioned facility called Canamed. The government currently pays for his product because he is a disabled veteran. He is entitled to 10 grams per day because of his condition; it is costing the taxpayers $15 per gram from Canamed. Compare this to between $5 and $7 per gram from your local dispensary. Pharmacies would probably charge even more than Canamed does, making it unaffordable to all except, you guessed it, the rich.

I would like to know two things. First of all, what makes a pharmacy technician any more knowledgeable and qualified than say, the owner of one dispensary in town who is actually a government sanctioned grower who has been in the business for quite some time?

The second thing I would like to know is if Mr. Lewis believes all drugs should be dispensed only by a qualified pharmacist, then why is alcohol, which is considered a drug, not dispensed from pharmacies?

The people who work in liquor stores are not experts on the products they sell, so what is the difference?

In one of my more recent letters I mentioned the fact that 40 per cent of Canadian jobs will be lost to technology in the next 25 years or so.

Dispensaries will create new business and keep people employed. Much research has been done about the benefits of medical marijuana in years past, (and not just on mice) including how it affects your ability to drive a car, and also how it helps people with Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and other such maladies live a relatively normal life.

It is apparent to me (and the feds), anyways, that enough research has indeed already been done, otherwise medical pot would not have been legalized, and legalizing for recreational use would never have even been discussed.

Mark Billesberger

Penticton

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