by Tara Green
May 28, 2011
As DEA raids and IRS harassment continue
on state-approved medical marijuana,
Big Pharma eyes the profitability
of cannabis and prepares to muscle in, using its lobbyists and
government connections to ensure a monopoly on legal sales of the
The drug is already available in Great Britain, as well as Canada and Spain. The licensing agreement with Novartis will enable sales to expand into markets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
FDA Phase III trials are still being organized
for Otsuka, GW's partner for licensing Sativex for the US market.
GW says that Sativex balances the psychoactive agent THC with cannabidiol (CBD), the chemical believed to be the source of medical marijuana's anti-nausea and cancer-cell-killing effects, in such a way as to eliminate any of the sensations associated with recreational marijuana.
However, cannabis expert Dr. Lester
Grinspoon, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical
School, points out that the issue of whether Sativex produces
marijuana high depends on the size of the dosage.
Barthwell frames Big Pharma cannabis as best way to bring marijuana into medical usage:
Big Pharma's big contributions to many legislators means they have many elected officials willing to see things the drug companies' way on this, as on many other issues.
Even legislators known to take a strong states' right stance on other issues, such as offshore drilling, somehow find themselves standing up for federal oversight on this topic.
For example, Sen. Richard Burr
(R-N.C.), who holds the dubious distinction of the being the member
of Congress who has accepted the largest amount from pharmaceutical
firms, has taken a stance against state legalization of marijuana.
As the American Independent observes, the pharmaceutical giants' strategy as regards marijuana seems to be,
Let your friends and family know that
many of those who fight against medical marijuana are not, as they
may prefer to present themselves, taking a pro-family stance against
drug addiction, but shills for multinational drug corporations who
want to keep all drug profits in their coffers.
Reschedule Marijuana After Nine Years of
from NaturalNews Website
According to the Coalition for
Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC), the federal government has violated
the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to respond to the
petition within a reasonable amount of time.
But the federal government continues to unfairly recognize marijuana as a Schedule I substance, which falsely deems it a medically-useless, highly-abused drug in the same vein as heroin and ecstasy.
Gettman also emphasized that the administration's failure to address the issue is an unlawful denial of due process.
One way or another, the federal
government is required by law to acknowledge the petition and
formulate a proper response; it cannot simply ignore it and continue
to intimidate states where marijuana has been legalized with threats
of regulatory crackdowns.
Such an arrangement, of course, clearly
illustrates the federal government's obvious bias in favor of
patented drugs that have gone through the million-dollar FDA