Pharmacist on marijuana
Pharmacist on marijuana

How To Educate a Pharmacist About Cannabis Using Facts and Statistics

Pharmacist may be the key to legalization as they will be the gatekeepers

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Monday Mar 26, 2018

Reginald Reefer Vs Robert L. Mabee
Schooling a Pharmacist about Cannabis with Facts

Can You Talk to Your Pharmacist about Medical Marijuana? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.

Every now and then I stumble across golden nuggets of Reefer Madness and correct the content with facts and real statistics. Today, I bring you another nugget of insanity written by Robert L. Mabee, a pharmacist and a lawyer who wrote a piece entitled, “A Pharmacist Makes the Case Against Legalizing Marijuana”

As with all articles, I attempt to look at the source material without my own bias in play. I take facts and figures, even if it’s detrimental to my own narrative and consider them carefully. In the case of the article I’m about to discuss with you today, there is no real substance to support his claims.

Let’s break down his positions and show the world just how wrong he is.


His Position on the Economic Disaster of Cannabis legalization

He starts his argument by outlining that the costs of legalization would outweigh the revenue generated by the legal industry.

Here’s an excerpt from his article;

However, as with alcohol, the use of marijuana will create costs in excess of the sales tax revenue. It has been predicted that costs associated with treatment, injuries, loss of work, and damage to property are likely to run millions more than the income gained through taxation.

The problem with his position is that it’s not true. The costs of legalization doesn’t outweigh the revenue generated by the industry. We can take Pueblo Colorado as an example.

Legal cannabis generated $58 million in tax revenue for the local economy. While there was an additional $23 million added for law enforcement costs…that still left the town with a plump $35 million in additional revenue due to legalization. Furthermore, this doesn’t include the reduction of costs of incarceration which comes out to roughly $40,000 a year per inmate.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that if cannabis is legalized the “costs of legalization” outweighs the “benefits of tax revenue”. Furthermore, there is also no evidence to suggest that legalizing cannabis reduces the amount of days worked. In fact, a study published two years ago in Health Economics found that states that legalized cannabis saw a reduction between 8%-15% of sick days within the work force. 

Similarly, we’re not seeing an increase of injuries and cannabis treatment isn’t really an issue in states that have legalized. Cannabis related treatment are typically forced on users when they are busted with weed, so that argument also doesn’t live up to the muster.

Sorry Bob…you need facts. I’ve shown you mine…but where’s yours?


His position on “Therapeutic Irrationality”

Furthermore, Bob continues to bash the good name of cannabis by claiming that therapeutically irrational.

Here’s an excerpt from his position;

Studies have disclosed that the recreational use of pot can lead to long-term mental problems and harmful neurological effects. 

Furthermore, marijuana is addictive. It is recognized as a gateway drug, associated with addiction to stronger drugs. Current campaigns to reduce or control addiction to opioids are directly aimed at reducing drug use. Why, therefore, should use of marijuana be sanctioned?

Firstly, these “studies” that claim that cannabis can lead to long-term mental problems have been scrutinized by many health care professionals in relation to how the studies were conducted and the connection between correlation and causation. Thus, this is still just an opinion.

Secondly, marijuana is about as addictive as coffee. The Gateway theory has been disproven time and time again and it is now a fact that cannabis DOES NOT lead to harder drugs. The mere fact that he’s a “pharmacist” and doesn’t understand that the gateway theory has been debunked, makes me doubt the authenticity of his claims.

On this point he continues;

There is no way to prevent adulteration and contamination of the marijuana sold in strip malls and kiosks. Without testing, regulation, or supervision, introduction of a variety of pathogens and toxins into the product is inevitable. The history of Prohibition, during which injury and death resulted from use of “moonshine” and adulterated alcohol products, provides us with countless instructive examples.

Yes Robert, within an unregulated system…you’ll never be able to get rid of pathogens, toxins and the likes. But cannabis legalization means REGULATION. There have been several instances where weed was recalled due to fungi and a high level of pesticides within the commercially regulated cannabis industry.

Your point actually argues in favor of legalization.


On his point of the “Constitutional Crisis”

He’s next claim made me realize he’s just a federalist shrill afraid of losing his income.

FDA has complete jurisdiction over the production, distribution, and sale of all drugs and medical devices in the United States.

ATF has jurisdiction over alcohol and tobacco products nationwide.

Creating a special exception for marijuana is dangerous and totally illogical.

No, the illogical part is the fact that drugs like alcohol and tobacco was excluded from the controlled substance act and given a “special” little space within the federal government to reign. Alcohol and tobacco kills more than a half a million people each year, alcohol is responsible for 40% of all violent crimes…but these drugs aren’t regulated by the FDA. Why is that?

Where is the logic in having a special agency erected for these two incredibly dangerous and harmful drugs?

And no one is creating a “Special exception” for cannabis, there will be regulation and there will be enforcement if someone breaks the rules. We’re not talking about a post-apocalyptic society here…just cannabis.

Our constitutional form of government and the supremacy clause granting the federal government preemptive jurisdiction in the area of manufacture and sale of drugs is not elective. If states can simply treat federal law like a buffet and choose only the laws they want to enforce, our nation will fall apart.

Except the constitution also guarantees states’ rights in the attempt of keeping federal powers in check. Now, I’m even doubting your claim to be a lawyer. If you don’t understand the constitution…what the hell are you doing representing people in the legal sphere?

States have the right to refuse to enforce certain federal laws. This was the case for alcohol prohibition too. How about a bit of history Bobby…?


Answering his “Unanswered Questions”

Should the federal government be barred from regulating the sale of recreational drugs, but then be asked to pay for treatment of addiction and other injuries cause by the use of these substances?

Nobody is saying that the Federal government should be barred from regulating the sales of recreational drugs, at least not under current cannabis legislative proposals.

While I personally believe that individuals should be able to sell whatever two parties agree on without consequence from the federal government, I do believe that within the commercial consumer market some oversight in terms of quality control is necessary. You don’t necessarily need a “federal government” to achieve this regulation and could very easily fund the creation of a new state-wide agency that would conduct this with much more efficiency than the federal government could…but regulation is definitely on the books.

The government won’t be “asked for treatment” since the very consumers would be paying for it with the consumption of their “recreational drugs”. This is why the tax exists. To pay for any potential victim of “legalization” and to create a more sustainable society by taxing vice substances and using the revenue to fund these kinds of programs.

The other way (not legalizing it) provides zero dollars to the government and they still have to pay for treatment.

Does pandering to a few addicts and recreational drug dealers justify ignoring the available therapeutic data?

Well, the cannabis consumer market topples roughly 50 million people in the US alone. That is 1 in 6 people. If that’s a “few” in your books, you must be blinded by your federalist propaganda. The available therapeutic data suggested, SINCE 1971, that cannabis should be legalized. That cannabis is safer than alcohol and tobacco. That there are far fewer side effects to consuming cannabis than the previously mentioned drugs.

The only people ignoring therapeutic data is the government in the attempt to maintain prohibition.

Does deferring to anecdotal data from people who smoke dope justify underwriting the costs associated with this decision?

Anecdotal data, plus 20,000+ studies from all around the world, decades of research and data generated through hundreds of thousands of people. I’m still waiting for the “associated costs” to be shown by you…thus far I have shown you real data, not just “fabricated fantasy”.


His response to the “Solution”

I’m going to be breaking down this section bit by bit so we can really understand the mind of the prohibitionist.

Pharmacists want to protect their patients and customers from injury caused by improper drug use, use of the wrong drug, and adverse drug interactions. With category X drugs with known teratogenic effects, we use the I Pledge program to help eliminate known risks to patients.

Legalization actually lowers the very risks you’re talking about. The current drug model is completely unregulated and sold on street corners. There is zero education, zero oversight and everything is being driven by the incentive to make more profits. This point you’re trying to make…is in favor of legalization.

Yet in the case of recreational drugs and their associated adulteration, contamination, and interactions, we are embarking on a game of Russian roulette with our patients and perhaps their future children. 

Unless you regulate it, use the tax dollars to fund educational programs and diminish the risk of drug consumption. Currently, consumers are on their own with zero assistance and after nearly 50 years of the drug war…we know that people will consume drugs despite the risk of losing their freedom. What is the alternative…keep on doing what we’ve been doing until the entire world is in jail? [Might be good for you seeing you’re a Lawyer-Pharmacist]

Pharmacists’ training and clinical experience demand that we seek to protect the public good. Therefore we must take a strong stand against expanded use of recreational drugs.

Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion, but we all have to live with the same facts.

To maintain prohibition is not seeking the protection of the public good. It’s fueling crime, a growing prison population, adulterated drug use, ignorance within drug users all the while providing zero benefit to society.

You’re not stopping people from doing drugs, and by now…after almost a century of some form of prohibition on the books, you should have realized that. Your “strong stand” against the expanded use of recreational drugs isn’t as “strong as you think it is”.

You’re right…we are all entitled to our own opinions…but maybe you should start looking at the facts?


How To Educate a Pharmacist About Marijuana Using Facts and Statistics from CannabisNet on Vimeo.








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