I'm Not Convinced Pharma Is Behind Pot Prohibition

I'm Not Convinced Pharma Is Behind Pot Prohibition
Posted by CN Staff on July 09, 2008 at 14:01:58 PT
By Paul Armentano 
Source: Huffington Post
USA -- The US government's longstanding denial of medical marijuana research and use is an irrational and morally bankrupt public policy. On this point, few Americans disagree. As for the question of "why" federal officials maintain this inflexible and inhumane policy, well that's another story.This fact was evident in the varied responses I received following my most recent Huffington Post essay, "What Your Government Knows About Cannabis And Cancer -- And Isn't Telling You."
URL: readers wrote me asserting that the Feds' seemingly inexplicable ban on medical pot -- and the use of cannabis by adults in general -- is because neither the US government nor the pharmaceutical industry can patent it or profit from it. A related, yet equally common hypothesis argues: Big Pharma lobbies the federal government to keep pot illegal because it won't be able to compete with patients growing their own medicine.They're appealing theories, yet I've found neither to be accurate nor persuasive. Here's why.  Mass Marketing Medical Pot  First, let me state the obvious. Big Pharma is busily applying for -- and has already received -- multiple patents for the medical properties of pot. (The US government has too, but that's a different story all together.) These include patents for synthetic pot derivatives (such as the oral THC pill Marinol), cannabinoid agonists (synthetic agents that bind to the brain's endocannabinoid receptors) like HU-210 and cannabis antagonists such as Rimonabant. This trend was most recently summarized in the National Institutes of Health paper, "The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy," which concluded, "The growing interest in the underlying science has been matched by a growth in the number of cannabinoid drugs in pharmaceutical development from two in 1995 to 27 in 2004."In other words, at the same time the American Medical Association and federal lawmakers are proclaiming that pot has no established medical value, Big Pharma is in a frenzy to bring dozens of new, cannabis-based medicines to market.Not all of these medicines will be synthetic pills either. Most notably, GW Pharmaceutical's oral marijuana spray, Sativex, is a patented standardized dose of natural cannabis extracts. (The extracts, primarily THC and the non-psychoactive, anxiolytic compound CBD, are taken directly from marijuana plants grown at an undisclosed, company warehouse.)Does Big Pharma's sudden and growing interest in the research and development of pot-based medicines mean that the industry is proactively supporting marijuana prohibition? Not if they know what's good for them.First, any and all cannabis-based medicines must be granted approval from federal regulatory bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration -- a process that remains as much based on politics as it is on scientific merit. Chances are that a government that is unreasonably hostile toward the marijuana plant will also be unreasonably hostile toward sanctioning cannabis-based pharmaceuticals.A recent example of this may be found in the Medicine and Health Products Regulatory Agency's recent denial of Sativex as a prescription drug in the United Kingdom. (Sativex's parent company, GW Pharmaceuticals, is based in London.) In recent years, British politicians have taken an atypically hard-line against the recreational use of marijuana -- culminating in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's declaration that today's pot is now of "lethal quality." (Shortly thereafter, Parliament elected to stiffen criminal penalties on the possession of the drug from a verbal warning to up to five years in jail.)In such an environment is it any wonder that British regulators have steadfastly refused to legalize a pot-based medicine, even one with an impeccable safety record like Sativex? Conversely, Canadian health regulators -- who take a much more liberal view toward the use of natural cannabis and oversee its distribution to authorized patients -- recently approved Sativex as a prescription drug.  Targeting The Consumer Of course, gaining regulatory approval is only half the battle. The real hurdle for Big Pharma is finding customers for its product. Here again, a culture that is familiar with and educated to the use therapeutic cannabis is likely going to be far more open to the use of pot-based medicines than a population still stuck in the grip of "Reefer Madness." (For example, Marinol, despite having been approved by the FDA in 1986, was rescheduled so that doctors might prescribe it more liberally in 1999 -- three years after California and other states began approving medical marijuana use legislation. Coincidence? I doubt it.)Will those patients who already have first-hand experience with the use of medical pot switch to a cannabis-based pharmaceutical if one becomes legally available? Maybe not, but these individuals comprise only a fraction of the US population. Certainly many others will -- including many older patients who would never the desire to try or the access to obtain natural cannabis. Bottom line: regardless of whether pot is legal or not, cannabis-based pharmaceuticals will no doubt have a broad appeal.That said, many argue that the legal availability of pot would encourage patients to use fewer pharmaceuticals overall and significantly undercut Big Pharma's profits. To a minor degree this may be a possibility, though likely not to an extent that adversely impacts the industry's bottom line. Certainly most individuals in the Netherlands, Canada, and in California -- three regions where medical pot is both legal and easily accessible on the open market -- use prescription drugs, not cannabis, for their ailments. Further, despite the availability of numerous legal healing herbs and traditional medicines such as Echinacea, Witch Hazel, and Eastern hemlock most Americans continue to turn to pharmaceutical preparations as their remedies of choice.Should the advent of legal, alternative pot-based medicines ever warrant or justify the criminalization of patients who find superior relief from natural cannabis? Certainly not. But, as the private sector continues to move forward with research into the safety and efficacy of marijuana-based pharmaceuticals, it will become harder and harder for the government and law enforcement to maintain their absurd and illogical policy of total pot prohibition.Needless to say, were it not for advocates having worked for four decades to legalize medical cannabis, it's unlikely that anyone -- most especially the pharmaceutical industry -- would be turning their attention toward the development and marketing of cannabis-based therapeutics. That said, I won't be holding my breath waiting for any royalty checks.  If Not Big Pharma, Then Who?  So, if Big Pharma isn't a significant player in the ongoing prohibition of the personal use of cannabis, then who is responsible? Based on my experience, the answer is obvious. First and most importantly, there's federal government -- as represented not only by the lawmakers who continue to vote in favor of America's Draconian drug policies, but also the numerous acronymn ladened bureaucracies (such as the ONDCP, NIDA, etc.) who actively lobby against any change in direction.The second most powerful player in maintaining pot prohibition? That's easy: law enforcement, as represented by bigwigs like the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the California Narcotics Officers Association, all the way down the line to small-town police forces -- all of whom consistently finance efforts to derail any relaxation of federal, state, or local marijuana policies.The third and final primary player responsible for maintaining modern-day pot prohibition? Unfortunately, that would be us, the general public -- a majority of whom have repeatedly voiced disapproval for legalizing the use personal use of pot by adults in both national polls and on statewide ballot initiatives, most recently in Colorado and in Nevada in 2006. (By contrast, more than half of Americans do support -- and have consistently voted for -- legislation in support of the qualified medical use of cannabis by authorized patients.)In short, until there is a significant sea-change in the attitudes and actions of the Feds, cops, and the general public, expect prohibition -- particularly the broader prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis -- to continue.Complete Title: Why I'm Not Convinced Big Pharma Is Behind Pot Prohibition (But That's Not to Say They Aren't Looking to Cash in on Medical Marijuana)Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Paul Armentano Published: July 9, 2008Copyright: 2008, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #36 posted by observer on November 29, 2008 at 13:05:57 PT
Big Pharma Delaying Cheaper Drugs
Expanding on an earlier comment, What "Big Pharma" will be behind, is more of the same: more patentable drugs they can claim exclusive rights to. Cannabis doesn't fit that bill. Cannabinoid analogs - patentable because they are designed to be unique - do fit that bill in the traditional way that "Big Pharma" has been making the big bucks in the US for years.
Pharmaceutical companies "delaying cheaper drugs"The European Commission has accused leading pharmaceutical companies of delaying and impeding the entry of generic drugs to the market, denying the public access to cheaper medicines...[The European Commissioner for Competition] report accuses pharmaceutical companies of various practices to slow the progress of generic drugs to market including filing large numbers of patents to prevent their launch, filing patent litigation cases, signing settlements with generic manufacturers, and intervening in national procedures for the approval of generic medicines."These preliminary results show that market entry of generic companies and the development of new and more affordable medicines is sometimes blocked or delayed, at significant cost to healthcare systems, consumers and taxpayers..." (Graham Ruddick, Telegraph newspaper, UK; 28 Nov 2008; 
Policies prohibiting whole cannabis, for whatever reasons, fit this same pattern. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #35 posted by observer on November 04, 2008 at 11:50:59 PT
Big Pharma to be Given Blanket Immunity
Big Pharma May be Handed Blanket Immunity for All Drug Side Effects, Deaths (11/2008)
The Supreme Court may rule that pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued for dangerous or even deadly side effects from their drugs if those side effects arise from an FDA-approved use.Under a legal argument known as "pre-emption," the FDA's approval of a drug absolves companies of any responsibility if that drug later turns out to be dangerous, even if information was concealed from the FDA during the approval process.
Sweet deal - for big pharma corporations. I like how the drug war propagandists tell us that cannabis isn't FDA approved, therefore we're cave-dwelling troglodytes to even mention it, and worthy of scourging and prison if we take it. Propagandists remind us how "snake oil" salesmen from "traveling medicine" shows wanted to poison us for a fast buck. Which is of course (we are told) totally unlike how the uncorruptable and ever angelic FDA and Big Pharma operate. Protecting us from snake oil, my foot. Big Pharma is protecting their ability to fleece us - government is protecting its power. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #34 posted by observer on October 24, 2008 at 19:25:47 PT
CAFR & Big Pharma
Don't forget the inherent conflict of interest also in government investment in Big Pharma, also. I had no idea just how these incestuous tentacles play corrupted government, prohibition drug policies, and monetary self interest. Yet another loop in the knot...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #33 posted by observer on October 03, 2008 at 13:55:59 PT
Big Pharma cartoon
Big Pharma, Partnership for a Drug-Free America (comic) ...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #32 posted by FoM on July 14, 2008 at 16:31:31 PT
Weeding Out The Highs of Medical Marijuana
July 14, 2008Research exploring new ways of exploiting the full medicinal uses of cannabis while avoiding unwanted side-effects will be presented to pharmacologists today (Tuesday, 15 July) by leading scientists attending the Federation of European Pharmacological Societies Congress, EPHAR 2008.Cannabis is a source of compounds known as cannabinoids, one of which, THC – the main chemical responsible for the 'high' – has long been licensed as a medicine for suppressing nausea produced by chemotherapy and for stimulating appetite, for instance, in AIDS patients.URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #31 posted by FoM on July 14, 2008 at 05:21:15 PT
It's nice to see you. I hope all is well.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #30 posted by hempity on July 13, 2008 at 21:32:56 PT
Skin churns out marijuana-like brain chemicals
Skin churns out marijuana-like brain chemicals
Body's own cannabinoids help keep skin clear and healthy
By Robin Nixon
updated 11:24 a.m. PT, Fri., July. 11, 2008Marijuana-like substances made by the skin are necessary for a healthy complexion, a new study concludes.The skin has joined the growing club of organs that is known to produce "endocannabinoids" — the body's own reefer. The biggest producer of endogenous pot is the brain.Significantly, the new study pins down long-suspected connections between brain and skin and between stress and zits.Your thinking skin
In the skin, explained lead researcher Tamás Bíró of the University of Debrecen, Hungary, these compounds help the sebaceous glands protect us from harsh outer elements, such as the drying effects of wind and sun. Cannabinoids are thought to have a similar role in the leaves of the marijuana plant.Among its protective functions, "endo-pot" stimulates oil production and tells hair follicles to stop producing hair. Whether this explains the plethora of pimples and receding hairlines at Grateful Dead concerts (or those of former band members) has not yet been determined.The research, funded mostly by the Hungarian and German governments, will be detailed in the October 2008 issue of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.Why is a psycho-stimulant working outside the brain?Dermatologists have long suggested that mental states affect the skin, having observed flare-ups of acne, psoriasis, hair loss and other conditions that coincide with stress. Now, they are finding that the skin responds to, and produces, compounds called neuropeptides previously thought to exist exclusively in the brain. This is said to prove the brain-skin connection by nailing down the mechanism."It is working in both directions," said Andrzej Slominski, a researcher at the University of Tennessee who was not involved with the endocannabinoids study but does research on the skin's neuroendocrine system.Brain-skin connection
Neuropeptides — such as serotonin, melatonin, cortisol and, possibly endocannabinoids — are made by the skin in response to environmental stressors or rewards such as thorns, humidity, sunshine or a refreshing breeze. These compounds can then spur the brain to alter behavior, Slominski explained.Conversely, psychological stress sends signals from the brain to the skin.The discoveries are giving credence to old wives' tales that connect skin condition with mental state. Yes, perhaps exam period did give you that pimple.Because the skin is less complex than the brain, it knows only a few names for stress, said Slominski.Therefore, the skin may respond to emotional distress as if the body is under physical attack. Protective lubricants are increased (resulting in oily skin) and less critical functions (like growing hair) may be halted.Even though the skin is the simpler organ, as primates evolved our skin likely learned to deal with stress before the brain did, said Slominski. The skin, the body's largest organ, is continuously exposed to a stressful environment, he pointed out. Of all organs, it had the most pressing evolutionary need to develop protective responses.Later, the skin's stress responses were adopted and perfected by the brain, he said, which explains why the same compounds have similar effects in each organ.Natural high?
While these discoveries may lead to breakthrough topical treatments, such as the use of endocannabinoids to treat chronically dry and itchy skin, the research may also inspire the pursuit of relaxation in the name of a glowing complexion and a full head of hair.What about the endo-pot already on our skin? Can it get us high?"Theoretically, yes," said Bíró. But, while our skin is constantly pumping out its own type of hash, even if you chewed your arm to bits, he continued, there isn't enough to have a psychological effect.
© 2008 All rights reserved.URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #29 posted by observer on July 13, 2008 at 13:44:07 PT
Home > News Archive > 2000;
Who, Other Than The Government, Funds America's 'War On Some Drugs?'; 
December 21, 2000 - Washington, DC, USA > News Archive > 1998 > Magazine Publishers Of America; Enlist In Drug War Media Blitz; 
October 22, 1998 - Orlando, FL, USA; Partnership for a Drug Free America like how it was put below. Number four on the list in this author's estimation. Not the number one reason, but not absent.
"4- Companies that would have to compete with cannabis and hemp products if it were not for the government’s cannabis prohibition, and therefore lobby for cannabis/hemp to remain illegal and its consumers treated like violent criminals: The alcohol industry (beer, wine and distilled spirits; wholesalers and retailers), tobacco industry (cigar, spit and cigarettes; wholesalers and retailers), pharmaceutical industry and industrial material and energy companies (i.e., wood, paper, petroleum, plastics, fiber, seed oil, animal fodder, etc…), lobby and/or advocate against taxing and controlling cannabis and hemp products." 
National Narcotics Officers’ Association Endorsement Fails To Lift Doug Ose Back To Congress And Exposes Hate Speech Against Citizens Who Oppose Prohibition;
June 30th, 2008;
By: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director has been said "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". But maybe the metaphor of a tree with a single root of responsibility at which we may strike, isn't always helpful. Maybe such metaphors break down at some point. Sometimes things are a tangled mess of mycelium with no obvious single root. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #28 posted by observer on July 13, 2008 at 11:15:34 PT
Big Pharma's Behind
I agree that cannabis prohibition rests on a tangled web of combinations of (often vested) interests. What worries me here, is that I don't want to ignore what large pharmaceutical corporations do and have done to keep jailing people who use whole cannabis in the US. Why was the big pharma backing of the PDFA not mentioned, for example? That's significant. Also troublesome here to me is what looks to be a bit of a straw man: the idea that there are some people out there who believe that "Big Pharma" is "behind", that Big Pharma is the sole/only/main/most significant reason/most responsible/etc. for canna bis prohibition. To be sure: one can find most any odd belief on the net, so I don't doubt that such Big-Pharma-Only beliefs exist, too. Still, I don't come across many who dogmatically assert that "Big Pharma" is solely responsible or conspiratorially behind prohibition. People I talk to seem to recognize that people are jailed for marijuana for a variety of reasons. Maybe we can make a poll that will tell us the extent of this belief, that Big Pharma is responsible for the marijuana laws. It is not too hard to track how large pharmaceutical corporations buy prohibitionist politicians like Souder and Grassley, etc. (R - IN) Mark E. Souder
.... Pharmaceuticals/Health Products	$16,550SENATOR (R - IA) Chuck Grassley
.... Pharmaceuticals/Health Products	$231,722REPRESENTATIVE (D - SC) James E. Clyburn
.... Pharmaceuticals/Health Products	$114,884etc.more: 
Pharmaceuticals / Health Products: Long-Term Contribution Trends I'm not convinced that any one player is behind or responsible or is conspiring to jail cannabis users in the US. I'm also not convinced that "Big Pharma" is any kind of friend of those who simply don't want to be jailed for growing, selling or taking the cannabis plant. The continuing Big Pharma sponsorship of PDFA demonstrates that quite clearly. We need to expose Big Pharma payoffs to politicians, like Mark E. Souder and we need to expose Big Pharma's anti-pot propaganda they spew via the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #27 posted by Commonsense on July 11, 2008 at 21:40:11 PT
I agree with what you are saying here. It's the politicians and the beaurocrats, the cops and voters who are keeping marijuana illegal. I think it's more out of genuine fear than any sinister ulterior motive. I think a lot of people see the sky falling in if marijuana becomes legal. Even if they aren't so afraid of marijuana, they believe if marijuana is legalized there will be a domino effect and before we knew it all drugs and all manner of debauchery will be legal. They've drawn a line in the sand and they aren't budging. I think things are changing though. Look at the poll numbers. As the years go on more and more people say they think marijuana should be legal and regulated like alcohol. We're at over 40% now, and if this trend continues in a few years more than half of all voters will be for regulating marijuana similar to the way we regulate alcohol. Cops and prosecutor types, they won't change very fast. They'll fight against legalization long after the majority of Americans want marijuana legal. They can't help themselves. It's the way most of them are built. Voters and politicians can and will change though I think. I think a big factor in this will be age demographics. Older voters actually exercise their rights to vote. Politicians, Congress and the Senate, are old guys on average. The senior politicians and committee heads are really old, in their late sixties on average. These people came of age before marijuana really became popular and they tend to be more afraid of it than people born ten or fifteen years later. Those born in the mid forties are more likely to have smoked marijuana than those born five years before them, but still only something like a quarter of those born in 1946 report ever having used marijuana. When you get up into those born in 1955, most of them have smoked pot, closer to 60%. (I'm close w/ these numbers but haven't looked a SAMHSA's stuff in a while) As these people born in the fifties and beyond really take the reins in this country, as the most powerful voting block and the senior politicians who really run things, things are going to change. These guys are going to change the laws and the cops and prosecutors are just going to have to suck it up and live with it. What do you think? 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #26 posted by FoM on July 11, 2008 at 10:28:09 PT
Thank you. I wasn't sure if wikipedia was wrong.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #25 posted by paul armentano on July 11, 2008 at 10:26:11 PT
typo, my bad
Yes, she is.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #24 posted by FoM on July 11, 2008 at 10:20:39 PT
Is Lingle a Republican?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #23 posted by paul armentano on July 11, 2008 at 10:17:58 PT
Oh yeah, I should add Governors to this list...
Goernors Donald Carcieri (R-RI), Linda Lingle (D-HI), Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), John Lynch (D-NH), Jodi Rell (R-CT) and Jim Douglas (R-VT) each virtually single-handedly killed marijuana law reform in their given states over the past 12 months via vetoes (Carcieri, Lingle, Rell) or threats of vetoes.Who's responsible for maintaining prohibition? Start here.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by paul armentano on July 11, 2008 at 10:11:32 PT
observer post #15
Good question. "Is behind" as in "is responsible for." Also, re: comment #10, "Who puts this reason forward as the sole, only, or even main or major or most salient or significant reason why cannabis is not legal in the US?" Well, lots and lots of people do, and they write me daily to tell me about it. My point in writing this essay was to reiterate that there are three major entities (the Feds, cops, the public) actively supporting the current prohibition and impeding liberalization. If we are to successfully change the current situation, we need to target and influence these entities, rather than blaming forces (e.g., Big Pharma) that have little to do with propping up and maintaining the current laws.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by FoM on July 11, 2008 at 10:09:20 PT
I don't know the amount for sure but her sister told me it is that bad. I didn't know what to say. She has a very painful form of arthritis. I told her sister that she will need to get a handle on the amount and it won't be easy but it can only happen when she reaches the end of the line and her body starts to fail her. You can't help someone until they want to be helped.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by Hope on July 11, 2008 at 09:59:41 PT
That last post of mine
in response to FoM's comment at 13.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by Hope on July 11, 2008 at 09:58:24 PT
"40 Vicodin a day"
Whoa!It looks like people would know by that point that something wasn't working and that they are using poison which could become, easily, easily deadly in those amounts... just like aspirin.I guess their pain is so bad they don't care or can't reason about it at that point.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by Hope on July 11, 2008 at 09:14:15 PT
It's been many, many years ago, now.
Over thirty years ago. It was horrible. Her use was worse than the stopping, in my opinion. It didn't look like fun to me. Knowing someone is using heroin is the best preventative to ever being even slightly tempted to use it, I think. When they used to allow the pitiful town drunk to stumble along the sidewalks instead of being hidden away, that was the best advertisement against drinking in the world. Of course he wasn't obviously drinking, which would have gotten him arrested, even then... but everyone knew that he was suffering greatly from his addiction. The ones I'm remembering didn't harm or threaten anyone. They kept their clothes on and they didn't stumble into traffic... but they were a walking billboard for the horrors of alcoholism.My friend that used heroin back then is still free from it and alive today, I'm thankful to say.I think she used the milk and candy for comfort and calming those deprived pleasure sensors and to keep her stomach soothed and busy at the same time, virtually medicinally, and the cannabis was definitely calming and combative of nausea and pain although we didn't fully realize it's power in those days.It seemed like a miracle to me at the time and still does.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by BGreen on July 11, 2008 at 06:12:55 PT
Oops, I meant post #12
Bro. Bud
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by BGreen on July 11, 2008 at 06:12:00 PT
Hope re: post #7
That's really great to hear about your friend. I know it must have been tough for you also, while she was using heroin and while she tried to quit.I don't mean to make fun at the expense of the struggle your friend went through, but the first thing I thought was that the milk and candy bars must have had something to do with her cannabis use. :) It's an affliction that hits the best of us. LOLBro. Bud
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by observer on July 11, 2008 at 00:57:39 PT
Big Pharma, Behind
I'm Not Convinced Pharma Is Behind Pot ProhibitionAlso (to keep beating this dead horse) I'm not sure I understand what is meant by "is behind" in this context. Is behind - as in sponsors? Is behind - as in contributes toward? Is behind - as in buys prohibitionist legislators? Is behind - as in (gasp) a conspiracy (like the Illuminati, or Secret Space Alien UFOs, etc)? Much of this hinges on definitions of the terms. (What is "Big Pharma"?, etc.) "Behind" is used as a metaphor. "Big Pharma" is an abstract entity. Behind the bandwagon, there's a long parade of prohibitionists and drug war camp followers of sundry stripe who think they profit from jailing people who grow, sell or take cannabis. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 10, 2008 at 19:16:29 PT
Angel Raich
I just read in my email that Angel is very sick. She was rushed to the hospital and is scared. I don't know if what she said is for the public but if you pray please remember her.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 10, 2008 at 16:34:47 PT
It has been a concern of mine about people moving on to heroin if they get cut off and are addicted. Giving up Meth has side effects but not necessarily physically painful ones but narcotics are in a ball park all their own. People wind up taking way more pills then prescribed to meet the desired effect but at some point they can take one too many. You can die during withdrawal too. I know of a person who is up to 40 Vicodin a day and still it doesn't help her pain. Sooner or later people will have to deal with the excessive pain medicine use or die. There's no free trip for long term users of narcotics.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Hope on July 10, 2008 at 15:17:45 PT
comment 7
I think I read somewhere the other day that that is already happening, FoM.A friend of mine years ago got herself off heroin by going cold turkey... smoking pot... drinking milk by the gallon and eating candy bars, many candy bars, for a few days. It worked. She went to see about getting into a counseling and methadone program of some kind before that... but finally, couldn't wait any longer and didn't want to commit herself to some sort of inpatient clinic for an extended time. It was rough for her... and me. I stayed with her through it. But she did it and she never went back... and she was really addicted and had been for over a year. She just couldn't stand waking up in such bad shape ever again. The morning after, or hangover, or withdrawal, or whatever it is, is hell, too, so she chose to barrel through the hell of trying to get off it, to get past that withdrawal, the only way she could imagine to do it... and it worked. She did it because she wanted to, badly, and she thought if she kept it up she would surely die and she appeared to have come too damned close to it too many times. But she did it. People can do what they have to do if they want to badly enough. Pot helped tremendously... as well as determination, milk, and chocolate candy bars, strangely enough.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 10, 2008 at 15:05:01 PT
Comment 9
Oh no. Not again. Not more killing over the unjust prohibition of a non-lethal plant.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by observer on July 10, 2008 at 14:20:27 PT
Who Does This?
Big Pharma lobbies the federal government to keep pot illegal because it won't be able to compete with patients growing their own medicine.Who puts this reason forward as the sole, only, or even main or major or most salient or significant reason why cannabis is not legal in the US? Folks I've talked to and read from over the years, point to a combination of factors: federal law enforcement's need for make-work especially after alcohol prohibition was repealed in 1933, financial interests able to corrupt the political process seeking to reduce competition for timber and pharmaceutical interests, bureaucratic thrust.What I can't recall is anyone ever claiming that pharmaceutical interests were or are the most significant reason pot is illegal. People are right to point out what large pharmaceutical corporations do to keep jailing us for taking cannabis. Is there any reason to expect "Big Pharma" to do anything but more of the same (through their cats' paws like the "Partnership for a Drug Free America") - more of lobbying and campaigning to continue jailing cannabis users. What "Big Pharma" will be behind, is more of the same: more patentable drugs they can claim exclusive rights to. Cannabis doesn't fit that bill. Cannabinoid analogs - patentable because they are designed to be unique - do fit that bill in the traditional way that "Big Pharma" has been making the big bucks in the US for years. So yes, "Big Pharma" will indeed bring cannabis-related medicines to market, but this won't do us an iota of good, those of us seeking to not be jailed for growing selling and using whole cannabis. Sativex and Marinol PrimerSativex - Portmanteau from Latin "sativa" (meaning weed) and the affix "ex" meaing "out". Sativex means "Weed-Out". Marinol - English portmanteau from the words: MARIjuana, and NOt and Legalized. In other words, Marinol means: "Marijuana not legalized". Sativex: Weed OutMarinol: MARIjuana NOt Legalized. I think I get their drift.And like other cannabinoid analogs
see: - (when designed and patented by a corporation, as these are) can be turned into profitable medicines. Verily those Big Pharma patented cannabinoid analogs are indeed cannabis-based. But I see these cannabis-based meds (like Sativex, like Marinol) used as excuses to keep on jailing people for using the ceremonially evil whole cannabis plant. Christine Trudeau, Cannabis Culture, 2005:
Drug war partnersCorporations and politicians collude to transfer taxpayer money to corporations. When corporations seek to sanitize their image by portraying themselves as "good corporate citizens," they often choose to become "drug war partners."Some of the world's biggest corporate criminals are major contributors to drug war propagandists like Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA). Founded in 1986 by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, PDFA (until recently) received massive cash donations from the alcohol and tobacco industries.PDFA received tons of money from American Brands (Jim Beam whisky), Philip Morris (Marlboro and Virginia Slims cigarettes, Miller beer), Anheuser Busch (Budweiser, Michelob, Busch beer), and RJ Reynolds (Salem, Winston cigarettes).Bad publicity forced PDFA to reluctantly stop accepting such donations, but PDFA still receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from other major corporations, including Glaxo, Bayer, Coca Cola, Hoffman La Roche, and GE. 
(Partnership for a Drug-Free America and Corporate Drug Wars;
Corporations profit from anti-drug propaganda (2005) )What large pharmaceutical corporations have done to help keep pot smokers in jail, persecuted, and ostracized is very well known. 
A national coordinator of anti-drug user rhetoric emerged, an organization called Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Its propaganda helped convince the public that drug users are not ordinary people, that instead they are dangerous enemies who must be eliminated. Partnership rhetoric promoted a climate making brutalization of ordinary people not only acceptable but virtuous. In 1990 almost $1 million a day in free advertizing was being donated to Partnership.144    Philip Morris, Anheuser-Busch, RJR Reynolds, American Brands, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, SmithKline Beecham, Hoffman-LaRoche, the Proctor & Gamble Fund, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and the Merck Foundation have all been important sources of money for Partnership propaganda.145 Those groups are manufacturers (and affiliated foundations) of tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals. As one student of Partnership activity notes, "Partnership advertises, in effect, against having chemical competitors to alcohol and tobacco.146 Nor does Partnership propaganda discuss the competition that could provide to expensive medical pharmaceuticals.    Partnership's goal is not drug education but drug propaganda. The group states forthrightly that its purpose "is to reduce demand for illegal drugs by using media communication to help bring about public intolerance of illegal drugs, their use and users."147 In describing publicity, drug czar William Bennett's office said, "One laudable example is the Partnership for a drug-Free America's campaign to encourage negative attitudes toward drugs and to label drug users as unpopular losers."148 
(Richard L Miller, Drug Warriors and their Prey, 1996, pgs.27-28) So while "Big Pharma" is not the sole reason or perhaps not even the single most significant reason people are jailed for using whole cannabis in the US, large pharmaceutical corporations will continue to be no friend of those who simply wish not to be jailed for growing, selling and using the cannabis plant. Expect more of the same from large pharmaceutical corporations.  
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by mykeyb420 on July 10, 2008 at 13:24:08 PT
breaking news
Cops shoot and kill a marijuana grower in California today
killed while growing
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by rainbow on July 10, 2008 at 10:27:41 PT
McCain will never be OK with cannabis. His wife gets their family money from the big distributor of alcohol in the South west. They are distributors for Budweiser or is it Bud-dumber.Police will do hings but they rarely consider the consequences, except that if they turn off the online pharmacies and people do go to herion they would like that transition. Then they get to bust more people and make news of all the arrests they have made.One big reason they will not change - It is a big Jobs program and politicians do not want to look soft on jobs as well as crime. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 10, 2008 at 07:58:49 PT
Drugs Online
I have wondered about online pharmacies and addicting drugs. If it is easy to get addicting drugs online I am glad they weren't available when I had a problem with them.My concern if it's true we could have more strung out people and if they crack down on the pharmacies more people might turn to heroin just so they won't go thru withdrawal which is a horrible pain.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by afterburner on July 10, 2008 at 07:55:07 PT
Pharma: Cannabinoids Or Bust!
From the horse's mouth:Big Pharma "Doomed" if it Doesn't Change, Says Eli Lilly Chairman. 
Thursday, July 03, 2008 by: David Gutierrez | Key concepts: Eli Lilly, Big Pharma and pharmaceutical industry Big Pharma has many patents expiring and few new blockbuster drugs in the pipeline, they are embracing cannabinoid "drugs" to keep those profits coming to their investors. Will this result in Schedule 2 cannabis status or just more Schedule 3 Marinol-like scams?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 10, 2008 at 07:50:44 PT
If Big Business Were Intelligent
It would dawn on them that there is a multi-billion dollar market in place for this product we call affectionately, marijuana. Their lobbyists could change force Congress to legalize it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 10, 2008 at 07:47:51 PT
That's What Pharma Wants
Pharma makes crazy insane profits from prescription drug abuse. Marijuana reduces the level of prescription drug abuse and cuts into their profits.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by dongenero on July 10, 2008 at 07:40:50 PT
DEA is not hard line on everything. 
 'Study finds addictive drugs easily ordered online'As politicians consider stricter standards for online pharmacies, government regulators are actually easing restrictions on how doctors can prescribe controlled substances.The DEA last month proposed allowing doctors to prescribe such drugs with online prescribing software. The programs, which replace handwritten notes, allow physicians to send prescriptions directly to a pharmacy from their office.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by runruff on July 10, 2008 at 07:33:46 PT:
But if........................?
Big pharma is spending 167 million each year lobbying congress and they have two or more lobbyist per congress-person, What are they spending their money on and what are they lobbying for?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 10, 2008 at 07:28:43 PT
Pharma Contributes Megabucks
Interesting perspective, with pharma donating massive amounts of money to Drug Free America et el, they are tacitly responsible in part for the support of marijuana prohibition. We already know that law enforcement are just dirty criminal bastards behind a badge.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment