Medical marijuana could soon be available at your local GA pharmacy

ATLANTA — Georgia pharmacists could soon be filing prescriptions for medical marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is starting the process of reclassifying marijuana as a lower-risk drug.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan spoke with people on both sides of the issue.

The idea of picking up a prescription for medical pot at your local pharmacy seeming far-fetched is inching toward reality as the federal government is considering a major change in how it views and regulates marijuana.

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Pharmacist Ira Katz is a strong supporter of medical marijuana. He had planned to fill prescriptions after Georgia approved medical cannabis, and allowed independent pharmacists to dispense it. But, that never happened after the DEA threatened criminal prosecution.

“We were the only state in the United States to have pharmacists be able to dispense medical marijuana,” Katz said.

The DEA is in the process of downgrading the classification of marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which includes drugs like heroin and cocaine, to a Schedule III, less addictive drug like Tylenol with codeine.

This would make it suitable for prescribed medical treatment. Katz calls it a game changer for those who benefit from THC and want an alternative to addictive painkillers.

“We’re talking about kids with a seizure disorder, patients with neuropathic pain, or pain in general,” Katz described.


If the reclassification goes through, the marijuana won’t be dispensed in leaf form. Doctors would likely prescribe the THC potency based on the patient’s health needs.

“Probably tinctures, gummies, and soft gels would be the initial forms of medical cannabis,” Katz said.

Some say a DEA policy change on marijuana is long overdue.

“From what I have seen on my own, it helps out people,” Marlon Garcia said.

But, a drug treatment counselor told Regan it would only encourage the abuse of marijuana, which she says is addictive.

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“Marijuana is a dangerous drug. There are people who have psychotic breaks from marijuana,” drug treatment counselor, Kim Castro said.

The DEA re-classification process, which doesn’t decriminalize marijuana use, could take months.

Also, questions such as the cost of medical cannabis prescriptions and whether it will be covered by insurance are still unknown.


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