Pills are way better for our health than a simple herb one can grow in one’s garden we are told. Better to take expensive opioids and other patented remedies than a nearly non-toxic unpatentable non-physically addictive remedy that has been used effectively for all manner of maladies for thousands of years we are told. Marijuana is bad we are told.
But many people, including many people who have never sparked a joint in their lives are coming to see that what we’ve been told about pot is for the most part like many other things we’ve been told by officialdom, that is bunk.*
Despite the voices and faces in the ads, though, Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy and similar groups urging “no” votes on marijuana legalization in other states are not funded by concerned parents and public officials. In large part, these groups are funded by pharmaceutical companies trying to protect their share of the market for painkilling drugs—and in Arizona, the biggest donor to the “No On 205” campaign is a company that’s been investigated for its role in overdose deaths.
That company, Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics Inc., is best known for manufacturing a pain relief spray that contains fentanyl, an opioid that’s been under heightened scrutiny for its role in several overdose deaths, including the high-profile death of Prince in April. As Reason previously covered, Insys Therapeutics in August made a $500,000 contribution to Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy, the largest donation the group has received from a single source.
It’s not just happening in Arizona. According to a report from The Nation, Purdue Pharma and Abbott Laboratories, makers of the painkiller OxyContin and Vicodin, respectively, are among the largest contributors to the Anti-Drug Coalition of America.
Oh no put that bong down. Here try some highly addictive manufactured and patented opioid compounds instead.
*Cannabis is a drug and must be used responsibly.