Last week, the pharmaceutical giant Insys Therapeutics scored a major victory when it was announced that their new synthetic THC drug – Syndros – was approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration for placement on Schedule II of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
According to Dr. Santosh Vetticaden, Ph.D., M.D., Interim CEO, and Chief Medical Officer at the company, “Insys is looking forward to bringing this new drug product to chemotherapy patients to help alleviate their nausea and vomiting and AIDS patients with anorexia associated weight loss, respectively.”
The irony of a synthetic version of cannabis – a Schedule I, “no known medical value” substance – being placed on Schedule II so it can help the very patients that cannabis itself has been helping for years is made even richer when you realize that just last fall Insys gave $500,000 to opponents of Proposition 205, a measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana in Arizona.
But it gets better. Insys is the maker of Fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that has been linked to a rising number of overdose deaths around the country. Cannabis, of course, has never been linked to a single overdose death in 5,000 years of use.
Insys admitted in a 2007 SEC disclosure filing that legal natural cannabis would be a problem for them. “If marijuana or non-synthetic cannabinoids were legalized in the United States, the market for dronabinol product sales would likely be significantly reduced and our ability to generate revenue and our business prospects would be materially adversely affected,” they said.
Pardon my French, but no s***.
And if fighting against people being able to legally use a product that is far safer than yours as medicine didn’t tell you enough about the ethics of those who run Insys, how about this?
The company is currently under investigation for illegally marketing Fentanyl, an opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin, which has been linked to the death of Prince last year.
In December, several executives at the company were arrested and the CEO was forced to step down after they were charged with using speakers fees to entice doctors to prescribe Subsys, a medication for cancer patients that contains Fentanyl.
Just a few years ago, the notion that big pharmaceutical companies were conspiring with powerful people in our government for the purposes of keeping cannabis illegal was considered to be a wild conspiracy theory. Now, it is out in the open and blatant.