Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Big Pharma Pot? Yeah, That Figures...

The hugely influential pharmaceutical industry, known generically as Big Pharma, has never been known to avoid any potential profit possibility, is poised to cash in on so-called "legalized marijuana" in many states which have legalized the medical use of pot, my own state included.

According to a story in the Salem (Oregon) newspaper, the DEA has verified that 55(!) as-yet-unnamed companies have been granted licenses to grow marijuana, i.e., cannabis sativa, (aka "pot", aka "mary jane", aka "dope", etc etc) in the US:

It appears as if the upswing in federally approved pot farming is about feeding the need of pharmaceutical companies who want to produce a generic version of THC pill Marinol and at least one other cannabis-based pill for a wide variety of new uses.
In other words, if big corporations grow dope with the government and put it in a pill, it's medicine. But if you grow it at home or at a city-permitted pot farm and then put it in a vaporizer, it's a felony.
"They've got to realize, as a political issue, this is going to raise a red flag," said Kris Hermes, spokesperson for medical marijuana lobby Americans for Safe Access.
"Here we have companies cultivating marijuana on a mass scale to produce generic Marinol. It's going to force the government to answer more questions than it wants to."
It's a weird piece of news that comes at a strange and contradictory time for the drug war. As US attorneys send threatening letters to states and cities, including Oakland, warning them against "commercial cultivation" of marijuana, the DEA is quietly handing out licenses for commercial cultivation.
Big Pharma? No thanks. I'll get mine the old-fashioned way -- that way I'm contributing to the local economy and keeping local farmers in business and off the dole.

Really, no need to thank me... It's my civic duty.