Oklahoma Pharmacy Board Sabotaging Legalized MMJ Say Advocates and Lawmakers
State lawmakers and cannabis activists have joined forces against restrictions being imposed on Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, approved on June 26 by a healthy margin of 57-43 percent.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health, on July 8, released emergency rules to govern the program. They were approved post haste by the State Board of Health.
Two major restrictions were inserted: no smokable cannabis and a requirement that dispensaries must have a pharmacist on site.
Lawmakers and cannabis activists are fighting back.
“The Oklahoma State Department of Health has enacted law that undermines one of the most participated in elections in state history and silences the voice of Oklahomans across this state,” ,” said Democratic Representative Jason Lowe, calling the decision “an affront to democracy and an insult to the law-abiding citizens that showed up to vote for this initiative.”
Bud Scott, director of New Health Solutions Oklahoma, said restricting the consumption of flowering buds will not work for many patients.
“That’s a major, major problem because often times different delivery systems, the way you ingest medical cannabis, has a different impact for your specific medical condition,” said Scott on Oklahoma’s News4.
Pharmacists in Dispensaries?
The Board of Pharmacy contends the pharmacist's responsibilities would be similar to what they currently do at pharmacies.
However, there is a huge risk for pharmacists.
Local DEA agent, Rich Salter, said the medical marijuana program is in direct conflict with federal law in that cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug and that any pharmacist licensed with the DEA would be in violation of the law if he or she were to dispense or prescribe an illegal drug or worked at a dispensary.
Limiting THC Amounts?
On Tuesday (July 10), the Board of Health decided to limit the amount of THC in MMJ, arguing that cannabis doesn’t need to be stronger than 12% THC.
Patients beg to differ.
Many believe the 12% THC limit is far too low to treat the symptoms of serious conditions like cancer.
Some say limits are a decision better left to physicians dealing with individual medical cases.