Protecting The Big Pharma Monopoly: Anti-Marijuana ‘Experts’ Work For Drug Makers
If you ever wonder why nothing ever seems to get done, you can just use the old adage and “follow the money.” Nine times out of ten, the things that never seem to change remain that way because it is to the benefit of someone with the deep pockets to make sure it stays that way.
We’re talking crappy cable and internet companies, our reliance on oil instead of pursuing alternative, sustainable fuels, factory farming procedures that sicken and poison thousands of people a year–all of these continue because the people who make money off them like it the way it is.
Enter the growing acceptance across the U.S. and around the world for marijuana, both medical uses of it as well as recreational. Medical pot is legal in 25 states, and many states are eyeing Colorado’s burgeoning tax revenue as a result of legalization with envy.
So what’s the holdup? We’ve seen that legal pot is beneficial to the health and well-being of people, as well as beneficial to the coffers of recession-starved states–so why isn’t it legal nation-wide?
Well one place to start looking is at so-called experts on marijuana who espouse the anti-pot view.
Here’s one, Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University. He is often quoted in the media on the dangers of marijuana, which he asserts can cause addiction and other health issues. He spouts these views on CBS, NPR, CNBC regularly–only no one ever mentions that he is a paid consultant for Purdue Pharma, the makers of oxycontin.
Dr. Kleber is also on the payroll of two other pharmaceutical companies, makers of painkillers in the opioid family.
Kleber has outsized influence on the debate about legalization: he has been cited by the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police in its statement of opposition to legal weed. He’s also been cited by the American Psychiatric Association in its statement opposing medical use of marijuana.
When opioids are killing 16,000 people a year, more than heroin, cocaine, and pot combined, it seems laughable that this paid flunky should be revered as an expert on watching out for people’s health.
And he’s not the only one. These sleazy “experts” with hidden ties to the Big Pharma industry abound.
Dr. A Eden Evins is a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, and is often quoted by legalization opponents, calling weed dangerous.
But she has a pretty sweet side gig: she is a “…consultant for Pfizer and DLA Piper and has received grant/research support from Envivo, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer,” according to a disclosure attached to her commentary on marijuana legalization in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
As they say, “Money talks.” The bought and paid-for opinions promulgated by these so-called “experts” will continue to poison the landscape, obscuring the chances of having a real, honest debate on the benefits of broad legalization.
However there’s another half of that phrase: “Bullshit walks.”
At least we know what these anti-pot/pro Big Pharma academics are full of.