The biggest fear that marijuana consumers have is being busted with marijuana. A marijuana arrest can ruin someone’s life in more ways than one. Probably the second biggest fear for marijuana consumers is the potential takeover of the marijuana industry by big pharmaceutical companies. Big pharma has harmed a lot of people with their products, and many people, myself included, doesn’t feel that consumers should support pharmaceutical companies that are entering the marijuana industry. I don’t get as fired up as some, but it’s definitely something that I feel strongly about.
A lot of my fellow marijuana consumers talk as if the pharmaceutical industry is still waiting to get into the marijuana industry. That’s not actually the case. The pharmaceutical industry has been in the marijuana industry since before states had legalized medical marijuana via a product called Marinol. Marinol is a synthetic version of THC that some doctor’s prescribe, despite patients saying that they don’t like it as much as natural marijuana. A story came out over the holiday weekend about a former executive for Purdue Pharma which makes the powerful painkiller OxyContin. Below are excerpts from BBC:
John Stewart used to run the pharmaceutical company behind the narcotic painkiller OxyContin. Now he is banking on medical marijuana.
But Mr Stewart has turned his attention elsewhere. He left Purdue Pharma in 2013 and is now a co-founder of Emblem, a medical marijuana company based in Paris, Ontario.
He credits his time at Purdue Pharma, which did some early research into therapeutic cannabis but never brought a drug to market, for sparking his current interest – finding better ways to deliver the medical benefits of marijuana to patients.
How do Weed News readers feel about this? If someone is a former pharmaceutical executive, is it OK if they join the cannabis industry, or are they ‘tainted’ for the rest of their careers? Or if someone recognizes that cannabis is a better option than pharmaceutical painkillers (not sure if that’s how Mr. Stewart feels), can they start a new career in the marijuana industry without ridicule? If someone is in the pharmaceutical industry pushing deadly painkillers like OxyContin, how do they turn over a new leaf and be a good steward of the cannabis plant, or is that even possible? Are all pharmaceutical executives just greedy jerks to their core?