WHY A MAJORITY OF PHARMACISTS ARE WARY OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
- November 26, 2018
Needless to say, despite all the benefits the little green plant has to offer, many people in the medical field are still split on the decision to recommend or prescribe marijuana to their patients. Now that the midterm elections are over, 33 states (more than half of our country) and our nation’s capital Washington D.C. have officially legalized medical-grade cannabis. Likewise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the CBD-based medication Epidiolex as an uncontrolled prescription drug. Despite all the progress in mainstream medicine, however, a majority of pharmacists are still wary of medical marijuana. Why is this the case? Let’s take a look and see why they are exercising caution towards this plant in the wake of so much success.
That Is the Law
One definitive problem that pharmacists face in the medical marijuana department is legal issues. Although the little plant has been legalized by 33 states governments, it is still 100% illegal and listed as a Schedule-I (controlled) substance under federal laws. So, regardless of applications, the plant is still not considered acceptable for medical use from a legal standpoint.
A registered New Jersey pharmacist as well as an attorney, Angelo Cifaldi sympathizes with the legal high wire that pharmacists walk as they conduct business in cannabis-legal states. At this time, the federal government has not arrested any pharmacists for conducting these operations, but the risks are still looming on the horizon, regardless. Likewise, individual pharmacists are not DEA-licensed, but their pharmacies (the collective groups) are. Even more terrifying, any pharmacy that dispenses a medical cannabis is technically breaking federal law.
In the wake of legal problems, additional problems have started to arise. For example, New Jersey hospital pharmacies must make the critical decision to allow or prevent their patients from receiving a medical marijuana order (a reference to the drug in the state). Once the drug is brought into a hospital pharmacy, these individuals could potentially be stripped of their DEA license due to the presence of a controlled substance. However, what happens to the patient that is in desperate need of treatment and requires the marijuana? Now, you might understand why the situation is so sticky.
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