Big Pharma is spending a lot of money to undermine the legalization effort and they’re doing it to protect their pocketbook.
If medical marijuana were legal in all 50 states and if marijuana were used to treat just nine conditions for which it has shown to be effective, the pharmaceutical industry would have lost $4.41 billion in 2016 and that total could rise to $4.86 billion by 2019.
According to a report from analytics firm New Frontier Data, the eight conditions for which cannabis is an effective treatment generated $168.34 billion in sales for the pharmaceutical industry last year. These conditions were identified in a report from the National Academies of Sciences as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, nerve pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Tourette’s Syndrome, and glaucoma. The three on which Americans spent the most last year were chronic pain ($14.3 billion), PTSD ($10.6 billion), and sleep disorders ($6.13 billion).
There’s no question that medicinal cannabis has helped a lot of people. Veterans are using it to treat PTSD. People are using cannabis in place of their anxiety and depression meds. People addicted to prescription pills are using cannabis to get themselves off these dangerous drugs. A recent study showed that cannabis can help treat rare seizure disorders in children. Medical cannabis is capable of amazing things, hence why Big Pharma is determined to keep it illegal.
There’s no question that cannabis legalization would cost Big Pharma a lot of money in profits, but until now, we did not how much. As it turns out, that number is a lot. According to Salon, a new report shows that if medical cannabis became a part of the healthcare industry, then the pharmaceutical industry will lose up to four billion dollars in profit.
The pharmaceutical industry has poured large amounts of money into anti-legalization campaigns. For instance, Insys, the makers of fentanyl, put in half a million dollars to fight the legalization of cannabis in the state of Arizona. Then they came out with a synthetic cannabinoid drug shortly afterward.
Big Pharma is already seeing their profits fall in states with medicinal cannabis. Results from a recent study showed that more and more people are forgoing prescription pills in favor of cannabis. This has the pharmaceutical industry very frightened for their future, and they should be. We are more informed than we’ve ever been and we are fed up with being seen as commodities by Big Pharma.