by David Van Risseghem - publisher
On my recent visit to my local big chain drug store, I had the opportunity to discuss Pharmacy issues with the pharmacist on duty.
This local drugstore staff has known me well for several years and are aware of my advocacy on mental health issues, so they make themselves particularly available to answer my questions because they know it will help advance informed public policy on issues they are committed to.
Since the pharmacist was not otherwise occupied she handled my check-out herself. So I took the time to ask her a few questions about State question 788 and the requirements on dispensaries to be staffed by pharmacist.
SoonerPolitics: Have you heard about the new requirements that the Board of Health added to the new Medical Marijuana law?
Answer: I've heard some things, but I haven't really been paying attention lately, to the news.
SoonerPolitics: The Board of Health decided to require that the new Cannabis Dispensaries must always have a pharmacist on duty, but some say that the DEA would revoke their licensing if they dispense a 'schedule 1' drug. Do you have to have any kind of federal DEA certification, as a pharmacist?
Answer: No, I don't but this pharmacy, itself does.
SoonerPolitics: So it would not impact your occupational standing with the federal government if you worked at a local marijuana dispensary?
Answer: Not that I am aware of but my drugstore chain would not be able to sell a 'schedule 1' drug.
SoonerPolitics: Did you have any training while you were in college or pharmacy school that was required for your pharmacist certification, in which you were trained on the cannabinoid system?
Answer: No not particularly I don't know if others have but it certainly wasn't required either by the pharmacy school or by the State Board of pharmacists.
SoonerPolitics: So, if you decided to work for a dispensary, perhaps 'moonlighting' on the side.. That might be an opportunity, correct?
Answer: Well my employer does not want me working for any competing Pharmacy so that might be a problem.
SoonerPolitics: Since cannabinoid medicine dispensaries are not allowed to dispense other prescription medication, and typical drugstores cannot sell cannabis medicines, I wouldn't think that would be a direct competition?
Answer: It may not, but we'll have to see how that plays out. It won't be my decision to make ultimately. It will be my employer's.
SoonerPolitics: Given the number of patients being treated with Benzodiazapines for PTSD, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and flashbacks; could medical marijuana be an effective medicine of relief?
Answer: Oh, definitely! The tranquilizers have terrible side effects and potentially harmful interactions & create an addicted state.
SoonerPolitics: How do you feel about the legal status of cannabis?
Answer: Oh, goodness! There are a lot bigger problems and a lot more dangerous substances out there. I don't think we should be making as big an effort to stop the consumption of cannabis as we have been doing, given the other more dangerous drugs that are readily available on the street.
SoonerPolitics: I'd like to relay your perspective with my readers, if I may. Can I tell others what you're saying?
Answer: Sure, but my employer hasn't approved any of this, so I'd rather not be identified, or this pharmacy?
SoonerPolitics: Sure. And thank you for helping the people of Oklahoma be better informed about how your profession is impacted.