Not everyone is happy about the spread of legal marijuana laws in the country. Large pharmaceutical companies view the rise of safe, organic treatments, as a threat to their addictive products.
To curtail the proliferation of marijuana legalization, some establishments have invested in groups that oppose cannabis. The latest firm to show their true colors and support anti-marijuana campaigns is Insys Therapeutics. A report filed with the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that the company made a $500,000 pledge to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, an organization that is against Proposition 205.
“We’ve seen for decades now that it’s big pharmaceutical companies that are fighting against the legalization of cannabis,” said J.P. Holyoak, an advocate for medical marijuana in Arizona. “Instead, they want to be able to push their far more addictive, far more harmful and far more dangerous opioid drugs.”
Why did Insys Therapeutics, a company that announced the enrollment of a phase II trial involving CBD products last month, make such a bold contribution leading up to the November ballots?
Conflict of Interest
Insys Therapeutics’ actions could be related to its sublingual fentanyl-based spray product, Subsys. Fentanyl is an extremely potent drug (up to 50 times stronger than heroin) that Prince died from due to overdose complications earlier this year. Calculating non-lethal doses for the application of the synthetic opioid is difficult, which is one of the main reasons some patients overdose on the drug. Subsys is designed to provide instant relief for individuals suffering from chronic pain associated with cancer. But the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued a warning against the drug, because it is also being used illegally to cut heroin.
Analysts speculate that demand for the fentanyl spray may have reached its peak and is on the way down. Furthermore, researchers keeping a close eye on the business believe that the thriving medical marijuana sector is likely to blame for slow adoption of the company’s flagship product. It is important to point out that Insys Therapeutics was hit with a lawsuit surrounding forceful distribution and marketing practices related to Subsys by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
“This drug company’s desire for increased profits led it to disregard patients’ health and push addictive opioids for non-FDA approved purposes,” Madigan said in a statement.
When asked about the contribution, the company mentioned that legalizing medical cannabis in Arizona does not protect local citizens and children. Adam Deguire, campaign manager of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, clarified that the group will not be returning the donation. The pharmaceutical brand made the pledge on August 31, which is considered to be the largest contribution to the organization to date.
In November 8, Arizona locals will be voting on the legalization of cannabis via Proposition 205. For more information about ending marijuana prohibition in the state, check out the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona website.