Here’s Why Big Pharma Lobbies Against Cannabis Legalization


87% of 473 adult therapeutic cannabis users surveyed by the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia gave up prescription drugs, alcohol, and illicit substances in favor of cannabis. In addition, 80% of respondents reported substituting cannabis for prescription drugs, 52% substituted cannabis for alcohol and 32% substituted it for illicit substances. Patients under 40 years of age were found to substitute cannabis for all three classes of substances.

The finding that cannabis was substituted for all three classes of substances suggests that the medical use of cannabis may play a harm reduction role in the context of use of these substances, and may have implications for abstinence-based substance use treatment approaches. Further research should seek to differentiate between biomedical substitution for prescription pharmaceuticals and psychoactive drug substitution, and to elucidate the mechanisms behind both.

According to the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment, drug overdose, mostly from painkillers and heroin, is now the leading cause of fatal injuries in the US—surpassing firearms and motor vehicle accidents. Prescription opioids and heroin overdoses constitute two of the top drugs people overdose on not just in the United States, but across the world.


Since 2002, prescription drug deaths have outpaced those of cocaine and heroin combined. Abuse of controlled prescription drugs is higher than that of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, MDMA, and PCP combined.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, America’s top public health official, announced in October 2015:

“Right before I came to Washington to become Surgeon General, I was saying goodbye to our team of nurses in Boston. And they had a request for me. They told me that if I did just one thing as Surgeon General, I should do something about the drug crisis in America. I promised them that I would. I promised them that I would because they knew it was destroying too many of our communities.

“…I’m proud to announce that next year, I will be releasing the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on substance use, addiction, and health. We’re going to look at the best science on everything, from heroin and marijuana, to alcohol and prescription opioids. And we’re going to launch a national campaign to tackle the prescription drug crisis, because we know that someone dies from an opioid overdose every 24 minutes in this country.”


Strong case for medical cannabis. Weak case for prescription pills. Isn’t it reason enough for Big Pharma to lobby against cannabis legalization? After all, if people move away from dangerously addictive and deadly substances in favor of a miracle plant, how will they jack up the costs of drugs, fleece patients, generate profits and thrive? There are at least five prescription medications that could be replaced by cannabis. And if they indeed are replaced, cannabis would immediately render obsolete the gamut of pharmaceuticals that make the drug barons (and lawmakers) filthy rich.

No longer would the general population need to rely on side effect-laden painkiller drugs, psych meds and other deadly pharmaceuticals for relief from their chronic ailments cannabis would replace all this and more, providing true healing to the masses for pennies on the dollar. Because cannabis is a plant that anyone can grow, it also threatens the centralized power structures that control modern medicine, not to mention the for-profit prison industry that banks on incarcerating non-violent drug offenders.


The disturbing history of why marijuana is illegal in the U.S…(ATTN: is excited to launch Episode 5 of our new series about the history of illegal drugs)

Posted by ATTN: on Sunday, July 19, 2015

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  1. There’s no such thing as “Big Pharma”; just competing companies. I recommend being particularly sceptical of a source that uses the term, because it’s scream “conspiracy theorists”.

    I doubt pharmaceutical companies are shitting themselves over people giving up alcohol or illegal drugs. Then the rest of the group seems to be people giving up pharmaceuticals, but it makes no mention as to whether this is taking them for recreational purposes (which would make sense, given the context of listing them with alcohol and “illicit drugs”) or for other reasons.
    Still, there’s at least three very good reasons the companies won’t be worried;
    1) If they don’t already, they can open up pot dispensaries
    2) Cannabis is good for pain and stress, but it’s not actually a cure for any illness, only symptoms of some.
    3) If they do find something in cannabis that cures something, they’ll market the active ingredient in a controlled dosage, just like how we take aspirin pills instead of chewing on the willow bark from which it’s derived.

    Apart from all of this, the journal they cite doesn’t seem to be peer-reviewed and they post at least one meme that isn’t true (cannabis hasn’t been proven to help with epilepsy seizures).

    I’m pro-legalising, even for recreational purposes. I just don’t like bad science. lol

    • Stephen have you done any research before posting you absolute FOOL. have you not seen the 100’s of medical papers from all across the world regarding Cannabinoids inducing “apoptosis” or causing cancer cells to “commit Suicide”???? i take it you havent……as your obviously to lazy to do some research here’s just one paper for you to look at.

      • Leon- the pub you sited was from 2006, on the same site are 2 others that show there may be hope in using cannabinoids in treating cancer. I guess it’s just how hard you are looking for something that supports your belief. Many years ago my grandfather died of brain cancer, cannabinoids were not used as a cure then, but they did give him cannabinoids to help with side effects of chemo and for pain, and it worked. That’s enough reason for me to see it legal.,

        • Research has proved many benefits of cannabis, and cannabis oil production, let’s say softgels, would create a lot of revenue , & a lot of jobs.

    • They mean Big Pharmacies. We know ‘Big Pharma’ isn’t a company. It’s a group that works together and makes it look aggressive even when they both benefit from our ignorance.

    • Wow Stephen, you really have taken STUPID to a wholllleeeee new level!! What’s wrong with you? Better yet, what’s wrong with all people like you? Do yourself and everyone else a favor and read up on a subject before you open your mouth or mind online.

    • There is “Big Pharma”, just as there is “Big Tobacco” and “Big Sugar”. It only describes the size of the companies in total and their lobbyist power. Ever watch CNN? Every 3rd commercial is a drug commercial.

      Just replace “Big Pharma” with Phpharmaceutical cartel. They are interchangeable.
      It does no scream conspiracy theorist. Seriously, you need to open your eyes. If you actually did the smallest amount of research on the subject, you know, with GOOGLE, you might find that there are tons of references to Big Pharma and other cartels with proof. This is not the same as a second gunman on the grassy knoll.

    • “I just don’t like bad science. lol”… To that, I say lol.

      It’s ridiculous people who say things like that without doing ANY research whatsoever (thats what I asume after reading your comment). The fact that the evidence for painkilling effects is overwelming does not mean that this is the only medical benificial effects it has… CBD and other cannabinoids have been proven over and over again is multiple SCIENTIFIC studies to kill, slow down, diminish,… mutations in cells. It’s ridiculous to think that smoking a joint is going to cure your cancer though but CBD does have benificial effects.

  2. Only a clearly dumb idiot states that cannabis have killed no people.

    Cannabis have been the first drug in the line of millions of narcotics related death.

    Because idiots and drug addicts always have to try the “safe” cannabis and for some of them its the first stop in their life of narcotic addiction.

    Cannabis have been the culprit in millions of deaths. Millions in world history.

    • gimme some proof Santa. I am on the nice list, so I only want that for Xmas.

      Show me proof that Cannabis has been the cause of millions of deaths.

      I would also assume you dont believe in global warming and the cause of it? Because that would mean you also think that most, if not all, of the worlds scientists are wrong. Just like the cannabis scientists. smh

    • Wow, you might just be the absolutely stupidist person I’ve ever encountered on the internet….Congratulations! I see you have zero original thought, and have bought into the old “gateway drug” BS that has been pedaled by authorities since marijuana was made illegal. I bet you even took the 1930’s movie, “Reefer Madness” at face value! Holy shit, I hope you didn’t breed, because we certainly don’t need more people like you, with an IQ below room temperature. If you want to know what the TRUE gateway drug is, look no further than your local convenience store, liquor store, or bar. Just like there are millions of people who, without consequence, can relax after a hard day’s work with a glass of wine or a beer, similiarly there are folks who would rather occasionally indulge in cannabis. There is a distinct difference between using something, and abusing it. Now, on the other hand, there are people who are predisposed to addictive behaviors, who cannot successfully stop at one beer, one glass of wine, and move on to abusing other drugs…because alcohol IS a drug, a very violence-inducing, addictive, and life destroying drug. It, more than anything else, removes inhibitions against destructive behavior and often these type of people will look for additional substances, such as pharmaceutical drugs or illicit hard drugs to abuse. Every single person I know of who have had troubles with the law and addictions started with abusing alcohol and it was the catalyst for the destruction of their life. The people I know who use cannabis occasionally for relaxation are all successful people who have no issues or problems, and have never felt compelled to use or even try illicit hard drugs such as cocaine, meth, heroin, etc. When I served in the Military overseas in the late ’70s, it was prior to invasive drug testing. Many young soldiers liked to relax after hours using cannabis based products (hashish) widely available locally. However, the few times when there was none available, and people would exclusively drink alcohol, there was ALWAYS a huge spike in fights and other abberant drunken behaviors. This was NEVER a problem when there was an adequate supply of cannabis.

      Get your head out of your ass and stop believing in the idiotic fairy tales that people with a vested interest in profiting from the drug war keep perpetuating. They include law enforcement, who want to keep padding their bloated budgets, often with the use of 4th Amendment defying activities such as civil forfeiture; the pharmaceutical industry, and especially the burgeoning for-profit Prison Industry.

      • Just my 2 cents. I smoked cannabis for many years. I believe i started too young and at the age of 17 developed psycosis. Psycosis is a well known cause of smoking high levels of thc. It doesnt directly kill although it would probably be easier if it did sometimes. I believe this only happens when smoking it before the brain is fully developed. I cannot smoke it really anymore because it sends me right back and i cant enjoy it. That being said i have no issues with it being legalised and sold within shops to people old enough. It is a gateway drug. The chances of me trying half the stuff i did would of been slim if i were going to a shop rather than, jim or harry who had whatever else. Also i am even further for it being used pharmaceutically. It does have many uses and should have real funding. Forget all the money that goes into 1 nuke and get this started. Its about time.

    • Really? That’s like saying eating sugar causes diabetes (it doesn’t by the way)
      If we follow your thought process then maybe the first drug in the line would be alcohol or cigarettes, both with addictive qualities, or maybe someone took too much aspirin (once considered the most dangerous drug) or ibuprofen first, moved to pain pills..
      it’s a ridiculous thought process. And in my opinion a major flaw in how medicine will focus on one part of a life style to blame for all a person’s illness. Just saying…

      • like breast milk leads to real milk- leads to flavored water- leads to lemonade-leads to a milk shake-leads to a lolly- leads to a chocolate-leads to cream filled chocolate- leads to a shandy- leads to beer- leads to scotch- leads to a cigarette-leads to a joint- leads to some speed- leads to some crack- leads you to your grave- which one of those started all that- der- its a drongo answer made by drongos wanting to get at the drug and the people that use it -smoke it- because they freaked out on it- and their jealous- and angry about that- deep down – lol- who knows i don’t give a rats- jsu let people have the drug that feels right for them- as long as they keep their lives together- and don’t harm others on their substances of choice- its only jealous people who would want to intervene or stop that- regardless of their stories.

  3. I dont understand people who have to abuse shit.

    Why cant you enjoy life without?

    People need serious help.

    There must be underlying issues they need addressed by professionals.

    • Santa needs a new name cause you’re giving the idea of santa a very bad name. You may just be more stupid than Stephen here. Again, before you open your mouth, get educated with real facts, not ones that you make up or search online that suits your beliefs. you only make yourself look and sound like a total moron. Do everyone a favor, and just close your mouth for good. We don’t anymore stupid ideas while we try and fix the problems we all have. By the way, I don’t see any PhD in your name, so I guess you are not a Dr.

    • Recent studies have proven that addiction is not what we thought it was. People are not really addicted to substances. People do get pushed away out of society and replace valid social experiences and interactions with an addiction. Abuse of substances would happen a lot less likely if the person using the substance is not already pushed away out of society. People will always use mind-altering substances and if they can only do it in a little dark corner, illegaly they are more likely to develop abusive behaviour. It’s not a bad thing to smoke a joint or for that matter take some mushrooms. Humans have been doing it for as long as they exist and only recently it has been prohibited.

      You talk about enjoying life without. Without what? The only reason why you see cannabis as something where you should be able to live without is because it’s prohibited by the state and this is not for our safety but for a lot of different reasons that i’m not even going to get into. So when you are talking about enjoying life without then in my opinion you are being a hypocrite when you only talk about the Cannabis or illegal substances. You live without drinking alcohol, eating fatty foods, drinking soda, eating white sugar,…

  4. Cannabis in my experience can be abused like and substance. It makes you lazy. I would rather call it over used as it is certainly very easy to moderate compared to other drugs. I have over used it in the past but it has only taken me one week to go cold turkey, suffering irritability and sleepless nights and afterwards is very easy to leave it alone.. On the other hand I am also a recovering alcoholic as well . I have been dry for 7 years. It took me 2 years and a lot of very very good friends and a huge amount of luck to enable me to cease its use. I worry about my kids drinking. I don’t worry if I notice they have had a spliff.

  5. I went backwards, started on cocaine, mama, amphetamines and pills and now I have stopped all the others and decided I would rather smoke weed in an evening as it helps me to relax and take away my anxiety. I belive cannabis should be made legal and these awful prescription drugs stopped. I’m on prescription drugs as I suffer with borderline personality disorder and they have awful side effects and terrible withdrawl symptoms if I forget to take them.

  6. I’ve done about verything you can do & their is nothing that comes close to being safe on a personal level or in a public setting except marijuana.
    As a matter of fact all drugs including alcohol are mind altering. To my knowledge their are no marijuana products (hash, oils or anything from the plant) that is mind altering.My question is what make this weed a drug?


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