by Will Hackman
The last years we notice a lot of developments concerning Medical uses of Cannabis. More and more states are changing their policies and the markets try to adapt and realize that Cannabis can be a cheap medical alternative to expensive drugs. New opportunities are rising.
Cannabis has been always a big competitor, and a threat to their interests. A simple reason is that painkillers are more expensive than cannabis, which is much cheaper.
It’s not a secret that many decades companies are lobbying against Cannabis. Most point their fingers at Big Business, particularly the pharmaceutical industry and other industries that their profits were threatened by the CBD oil, hemp paper and textile industries.
An orchestrated propaganda was set up many years ago in order to defame Cannabis. Back in the 1930’s, the United States’ government planned and executed a campaign that led to the end of the hemp industry and outlawed medical marijuana. Pharmaceutical companies together with alcohol and tobacco industries(among others), started lobbying to influence in Washington. They lobbied for cannabis prohibition, and since then they try to stigmatize those who touch the “evil plant.” Reefer madness is just a small fraction of this propaganda. Monopolizing a market brought profits that later had to be protected.
Cannabis contains many compounds of medical value called Cannabinoids. The human body has special receptors for them and cooperates perfect with these substances. It is not only the demonized THC (psychoactive) used for recreational reasons that can help serious health conditions – it is also CBD (an non psychoactive compound). While THC mostly is illegal, still holds medical benefits.
There is enough evidence to support the argument that Big Pharmaceutical firms support in many ways a network of people, Academics, Lobbyists and Politicians creating obstacles to the use of Cannabis, their big competitor.
Big Pharmas are responsible for making synthetic drugs the only option for medical salvation. One can remember the Flexner Report of 1908, where Abraham Flexner, advocated stricter criteria for entry into medical schools and openly disapproved any practitioners related to any plant based "folk medicine."
His recommendations played a crucial role when were accepted, and as a result of those all Medical schools that used to provide education programs that included methods of traditional medicine were either simply stopped providing this knowledge or they were closed.
The total number of medical schools kept on dropping and by 1935, this number was half what it was at the turn of the century.
Slowly all of the Medical schools become strongly dependent on Big Pharma companies as they are the ones keeping them alive providing their funding. In exchange for this, the academic research is controlled by Pharmaceutical industries in ways that promote their interests. As a result, this system makes Physicians actually the best seller and marketer of Drug Companies. Sometimes this happens unintentionally during the study years, when someone learns to prescribe medicine that benefits the Big Pharma. Additionally it is illegal for a physician to suggest alternative treatments.
Along with the doctors Drug companies try to sabotage Medical research by buying also some Academics. From time to time we get valuable information about Academics who played the devil’s advocate role.
There is obviously a conflict of interest when an academic who, is paid by pharmaceutical firms, goes out publicly to defame medical marijuana value. One of them is Dr. Herbert Kleber(Columbia University). Dr Kleber while being paid from Big Painkiller Companies, he was spreading fear in his articles about the evil plant of Marijuana. His work is used as a reference for the New York State Association of Chiefs statements against marijuana.
Another psychiatrist and famous cannabis prohibitionist is Dr. A. Eden Evins (professor at Harvard Medical School), who has been also proven to have financial relationships with painkiller makers like Pfizer and others.
Just to realize how dangerous Medical Marijuana can be for their profits, let’s take a look at a recent survey that reveals some impressive results when trying to replace other substances with Cannabis.
“Substituting cannabis for one or more of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs was reported by 87% (n = 410) of respondents, with 80.3% reporting substitution for prescription drugs, 51.7% for alcohol, and 32.6% for illicit substances. Respondents who reported substituting cannabis for prescription drugs were more likely to report difficulty affording sufficient quantities of cannabis, and patients under 40 years of age were more likely to substitute cannabis for all three classes of substance than older patients.”
The political dimension of this ongoing war is also interesting. While many states considering legalization, either for recreational reasons or mostly, for medical use, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which puts it in the same class as heroin and LSD. Initiatives like CARERS Act. (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act) – a Senate legislation that would reschedule cannabis and ease marijuana policies and restrictions, seems to find obstacles on its way to change things for better.
It would be nice to think that everyone in the medical establishment is working together for the public good, but the evidence showed that our welfare is the least of their concerns.
Lobbies against marijuana-law reform, and anti-cannabis advocacy groups receive serious financial support from Drug Companies in order to stand against any liberal change concerning marijuana. One of those groups, CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America), while is promoting a strict anti cannabis policy of zero tolerance, at the same time takes funding from the producers of strongly addictive painkillers and opioids. There are also groups like the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids who also play similar role to this game.
There is a huge drug problem in America (created from over-prescribed painkillers and opioids).Deaths from drug overdoses have increased dramatically almost in all counties of the US, driven largely by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin.
A very helpful report explains how Big Pharma with the help of paid researchers supported the addiction of thousand people to opioids painkillers. Employed as consultants or by getting Grants from Big Pharmas, promoted over-prescription of painkillers and it is not a coincidence that many of them they oppose medical cannabis use in any way.
Needless to say that Cannabis is under attack for many decades now, not only in the USA but internationally. A simple example of an international case, was revealed from Wikileaks (it is about a Norwegian paper, NRK, which censored an article saying cannabis safer than alcohol, a year after publishing).
Medical Marijuana should be at least an option for those patients who they might like to choose an alternative to products that cause horrible side effects. While lobbyists are making huge profits, millions of people needlessly suffer because they are not allowed to make use of one of the safest and most effective proven medicines for serious health conditions.
Here is a small video describing the problem concisely…