Insys Therapeutics, the company who makes insane profits from a drug behind one of the worst overdose epidemics in the nation’s history, fentanyl, has donated $500,000 to a campaign opposing marijuana legalization in the US state of Arizona.
In a glaring display of hypocrisy, the maker of the drug Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray, claims that marijuana is dangerous because it could hurt children.
— Center for AZ Policy (@azpolicy) August 31, 2016
Why, exactly, is the maker of a highly addictive and deadly drug attempting to thwart the legalization of an amazingly beneficial plant? They want that market for themselves.
“They want to be able to push their far more addictive, far more harmful and far more dangerous opioid drugs,” JP Holyoak, chair of the committee pushing Prop 205, a bill that would legalize marijuana in Arizona, told the Arizona Capitol Times.
According to a study that looked at 17 states with medical cannabis laws in place, researchers “found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented.”
Prescriptions fell dramatically for opioid painkillers, with 1,826 fewer doses being prescribed per year by the typical physician in a medical cannabis state. Amazingly, the trend also applied to prescriptions for depression, seizure, nausea and anxiety.
When the researchers looked at data for conditions where medical cannabis is not used for treatment, prescription rates remain unchanged after the implementation of medical cannabis laws.
When they see their monopoly being challenged by a plant people can grow in their backyards, the pharmaceutical industry uses the state to remove their competition.
— Beth Weisser (@BethWeisserAZ) September 1, 2016
According to the Columbus Dispatch, one-third of Ohio’s 3,050 deaths caused by lethal drug consumption last year were linked to fentanyl. Coincidentally, it is also the drug that killed Prince earlier this year.
As we reported, a study published in July, in The Journal of Pain, found that medical cannabis eases neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury. The results show great promise for cannabis as an alternative to the opioid pregabalin, which often must be discontinued due to side effects.
This study adds to a growing body of research pointing to medical cannabis use for treating chronic pain, leading to calls by researchers for a change of course.
“The evidence supporting the therapeutic use of cannabis is actually much stronger than the use of other drugs that are used to treat the same conditions and it also seems, in many cases, that cannabis has a more favourable side-effect profile,” said Dr. Kerr in an editorial. “Opioids are killing people right now. There is no association with cannabis and mortality, and yet North America is in the midst of, really, what is a public-health emergency associated to opioid overdose deaths.”
The news about medical cannabis is welcome to everyone but the pharmaceutical industry. Along with buying influence in the FDA, Big Pharma actively works against medical cannabis legalization.
In their statement, Insys claims they oppose cannabis legalization “because it fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.”
Insys did not address whether the outcome of 205 could have financial benefits for the company. However, all of its profits come from the sale of its only product – the fentanyl-containing spray, according to its August filing.
While the mainstream media often acknowledges that these drug companies charge exorbitant prices for their medications, they conveniently leave out the reason they can do so is because they have the full support of Uncle Sam.
Instead of looking at the corrupt government, who has the unique ability to create and sustain monopolies, the evil drugs and the market are blamed.
It’s high time Americans demand cannabis be legalized nationwide and bring an end to this deadly monopoly.
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