Profitable Opioid Painkillers and Synthetic Pot Patents: Big Pharma’s Motivation to Keep Marijuana Illegal
Last year’s November elections included several state ballots to either introduce medical marijuana or expand beyond permissible medical applications and allow “recreational” use for adults. Former marijuana resistant states Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Montana passed medical cannabis measures by popular vote. States that had medical marijuana allowances already in place, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine approved adult recreational marijuana. But the biggest surprise for many was Arizona voters' rejection of an adult recreational use measure, Proposition 205. Arizona was the only state that refused to advance from its current cannabis status at the polls. Arizonians for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP) was the major front group for hire that publicly opposed Arizona's Proposition 205. And its main donor of a half million dollars was a pharmaceutical company based out of Arizona known as Insys Therapeutics. Was Insys Therapeutics' motivation to oppose legal marijuana its lucrative opioid painkiller market, or its recent approval for a patent to make a synthetic form of marijuana?