|Senator Calls Out Big Pharma On Opposing Marijuana|
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2018 at 11:41:41 PT|
By Tom Angell, Contributor
Washington, D.C. -- A prominent Democratic U.S. senator is slamming pharmaceutical companies for opposing marijuana legalization. "To them it's competition for chronic pain, and that's outrageous because we don't have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said. "It's not the same thing. It's not as highly addictive as opioids are."
"On the federal level, we really need to say it is a legal drug you can access if you need it," she said.
Gillibrand, in an appearance on Good Day New York on Friday morning, was responding to a question about whether marijuana is a "gateway drug" that leads people to try more dangerous substances.
"I don't see it as a gateway to opioids," she said. "What I see is the opioid industry and the drug companies that manufacture it, some of them in particular, are just trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country."
Legalization advocates have long speculated that "Big Pharma" is working behind the scenes to maintain cannabis prohibition. And in 2016, Insys Therapeutics, which makes products containing fentanyl and other opioids, as well as a synthetic version of the cannabinoid THC, donated half a million dollars to help defeat a marijuana legalization measure that appeared on Arizona's ballot that year.
Numerous studies have shown that legal marijuana access is associated with reduced opioid overdose rates.
Research published this month, for example, concluded that "legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms," suggesting that "some individuals may be substituting towards marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether."
"Marijuana is a far less addictive substance than opioids and the potential for overdosing is nearly zero,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Health Economics.
Last week, Gillibrand became the second cosponsor of far-reaching Senate legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and withhold federal funding from states that have racially disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws.
“Millions of Americans’ lives have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, especially in communities of color and low-income communities,” she said at the time. "Legalizing marijuana is a social justice issue and a moral issue that Congress needs to address."
Gillibrand is also a sponsor of far-reaching medical cannabis legislation and recently signed a letter calling for new protections for state marijuana laws to be inserted into federal spending legislation.
"I think medical marijuana could be treatment for a lot of folks," she said in the interview on Friday. "A lot of veterans have told us that this is the best treatment for them. I do not see it as a gateway drug."
Many political observers have speculated that Gillibrand will run for her party's presidential nomination in 2020. She and at least two other potential Democratic contenders have already endorsed marijuana legalization.
Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Source: Forbes Magazine (US)
CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
|Comment #3 posted by Hope on February 24, 2018 at 16:48:07 PT|
|She's so well spoken. I admire that. And she's speaking true words in the face of decades of lies. Good for her! I'm thankful for her.|
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|Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on February 24, 2018 at 08:46:40 PT|
|this is a most welcome development - open criticism of the Pharma hegemony that runs our society.|
Maybe this will help people to think....what ELSE are they doing? If they're willing to watch 60,000 people die per year of opiate OD because cannabis is illegal, what else are they capable of?
Could the same investors be forcing approval of dangerous toxic chemicals in order to create and maintain a cancer epidemic? Oncology is the most profitable segment of the US health care industry. We are exposed to dozens of toxic chemicals and pesticides that are banned in the EU on a regular, every day basis. We have canacer rates 10X higher or worst than most of the world's countries for most of the big cancers.
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|Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 23, 2018 at 12:11:12 PT|
|Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York should be commended.|
it's not up to Gillibrand or cannabis prohibitionists or anyone else, -whether or not they believe cannabis is a "gateway drug"
The "gateway theory" has been discredited around 2 decades ago.
Even prohibitionist government quit using that one years ago.
Any day now!
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