by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
I covered this topic back in July in the piece, The Real Reason Pharma Companies Hate Medical Marijuana (It Works). Here are my opening paragraphs:
Whenever an irrational and inhumane law remains on the books far longer than any thinking person would consider appropriate, there’s usually one reason behind it: money.
Unsurprisingly, the continued federal prohibition on marijuana and its absurd classification as a Schedule 1 drug is no exception. Thankfully, a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs shows us exactly why pharmaceutical companies are one of the leading voices against medical marijuana. It has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with corporate greed.
Today’s article provides further evidence that when it comes to the Pharma industry in the U.S., it’s often more about profits than people.
The Intercept reports:
Pharmaceutical executives who recently made a major donation to an anti-marijuana legalization campaign claimed they were doing so out of concern for the safety of children — but their investor filings reveal that pot poses a direct threat to their plans to cash in on a synthetic cannabis product they have developed.
On August 31, Insys Therapeutics Inc. donated $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, becoming the single largest donor to the group leading the charge to defeat a ballot measure in Arizona to legalize marijuana.
The drug company, which currently markets a fast-acting version of the deadly painkiller fentanyl, assured local news reporters that they had the public interest in mind when making the hefty donation. A spokesperson told the Arizona Republic that Insys opposes the legalization measure, Prop. 205, “because it fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.”
Insys is currently developing a product called the Dronabinol Oral Solution, a drug that uses a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to alleviate cancer chemotherapy-caused nausea and vomiting. In an early filing related to the dronabinol drug, assessing market concerns and competition, Insys filed a disclosure statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating plainly that legal marijuana is a direct threat to their product line:
Legalization of marijuana or non-synthetic cannabinoids in the United States could significantly limit the commercial success of any dronabinol product candidate … If marijuana or non-synthetic cannabinoids were legalized in the United States, the market for dronabinol product sales would likely be significantly reduced and our ability to generate revenue and our business prospects would be materially adversely affected.
Well yeah. Remember what we learned from the article referenced at the top.
The company concedes that scientific literatures has argued the benefits of marijuana over synthetic dronabinol, and that support for marijuana legalization is growing. In the company’s latest 10-K filing with the SEC, in a section outlining competitive threats, Insys warns that several states “have already enacted laws legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana.”
It’s not the first time pharmaceutical companies have helped bankroll the opposition to marijuana reform. The Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, a nonprofit that organizes anti-marijuana activism across the country, has long received corporate sponsorship from Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, another opioid manufacturer.
J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a group supporting the legalization ballot measure, released a statement condemning the Insys donation. “Our opponents have made a conscious decision to associate with this company,” Holyoak said. “They are now funding their campaign with profits from the sale of opioids – and maybe even the improper sale of opioids.”
Pure class these guys. Meanwhile, let’s not forget the following revelation from last year post’s: Federal Judge of 17 Years Repents – Compares Damage Done by “War on Drugs” to Destruction of World War II.
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