In more than forty-five years of medical practice, you learn some lessons, often from the most unusual places. One of my most important experiences in medicine and life came from two remarkable individuals, Joe and Arnold.

After being unable to make the grade as a baker, machinist, or sausage maker during high school, I ended going to college and then ending up in pharmacy school.  After three years of training in a five-year program, I was able to secure a job in a pharmacy in the summer. I was quite impressed with myself, what with my training in botany, chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and physical chemistry, I thought I had a lot of valuable information; then I met Joe and Leonard, my preceptors.

These gentlemen had a much different background than mine.  No, they didn’t need five years, or three years, or even two years of botany, chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and physical chemistry.  Their pharmacy education in during prohibition was pouring from a 16-ounce bottle into a four-ounce bottle without spilling. That class took most of a day. When I told them about my education, they responded with the following guidance: “don’t buy into the hype.”

They taught me very quickly that the practice of pharmacy in the real world was far different from the classroom, lectures, and glossy hand-outs that I thought were so important.  While Joe’s and Leonard’s classroom time was minimal, their education was continuous, patient-focused, and on-going.  But their most important lesson remains; “don’t buy into the hype.”

When I first became interested in starting a medical marijuana practice, I consulted with a former anesthesia associate and was impressed by his passion for his patients.  But, after more study and listening, I had to remember Joe and Leonard’s wisdom.

In the following blog posts, I hope to describe my journey in the practice of medical marijuana. My first observation, “When you promise to cure everything, you can sell people anything.”

Don’t Buy Into The Hype.