Anti-Cannabis Research Is Funded By Big Pharma
Drug laws are all about money. At the end of the day, any law is just protecting someone’s bottom line. That’s why it comes as no surprise to find pharmaceutical companies making sure things stay just the way are are - by any means. Thanks to the snooping and detective work of the people over at VICE, large and damning links have been found connecting prominent anti-cannabis researchers with their paymasters over at Drugs Inc.
Pulling the Strings: The Academics on Pharmaceutical Payroll
One such individual is Dr. Herbert Kleber, one of the loudest academic voice in the fight against legalisation. Kleber, an academic of Colombia University, is highly regarded by his peers and is working to put unbiased science at the forefront. Or at least he should be, right? Turns out he is on the payroll of many major pharmaceuticals as a consultant, including Purdue Pharma, Reckitt Benckiser, and Alkermes – possibly his opinions on the matter may not be founded on a patient’s best interest, as he would have us believe.
What is worrying is that his anti-marijuana advocacy is cited by media outlets and even government institutions as an unbiased, reliable reason against marijuana legalisation; and it just goes to show the power large corporations have. When it comes to protecting business, conflicts of interest don’t matter.
Kleber is not the only academic with questionable motives. Two very prominent medical professionals, both members of the Harvard Medical School, and both board members of the anti-cannabis advocacy group ‘Project SAM’, also have close financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. A. Eden Elvins and Dr Mark L. Kraus are both very outspoken against the legalisation of marijuana, and are, once again, taken as an impartial opinion on the matter by government and media outlets, despite their ties to multiple pharmaceutical firms.
Cannabis Reduces Death, Not Increase It
The fact is that even though these academics are slating medical marijuana in favor of opiate painkillers, as we documented recently in one of our blog articles, legally prescribed painkillers are killing up to four more people than illegal drugs combined! There has never been one reported death caused as a direct result of cannabis use, and the legalisation of medical marijuana is actually reducing the prevalence of prescription based overdoses. It really makes you wonder how these academics justify their arguments.
The Other Side of the Fence
It would be hypocritical of us to criticise such academics without looking at the other side of the fence. It is true that pro-cannabis advocacy groups carry out their own research, and their potential bias does need to be taken into account. However, we would like to think this research is based on the needs of patients over money, as most pro-cannabis groups are non-profit organizations and have little financial gain to be made from legalisation – thus their research tends to be unbiased.
What’s important is that most research into cannabis is finding safe and beneficial results, and the vast majority is coming from unbiased, impartial sources that don’t have any links to either side of the arguments for legalisation. The tide has turned against anti-legalisation, all it does it cause more suffering by preventing access to cannabis by those who need it.