Not even a week after Proposition 205 was finalized for the ballot, after the last of the legal challenges were dismissed and decided on, a well-known drug company made a $500,000 donation to the legalization campaign’s opposition, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. The company who made the donation is Insys Therapeutics – and their one and only product is an opiate-based spray on painkiller that has fentanyl as the base chemical (an opiate that has been laced into heroin, making it more dangerous). The company is also working on creating synthetic cannabinoids – basically synthetic versions of cannabinoids which are naturally occurring in cannabis.
Go figure a company which could lose millions if their customers had the legal option to use cannabis – even without a physician’s recommendation – would get behind the opposition of Proposition 205. However, it is somewhat hypocritical that the group, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy – a group against drug use – would readily take a donation from the makers of one of the most deadly opiates on the market. There have even been federal investigations opened up to investigate the company making the dangerous drug.
“We are truly shocked by our opponents’ decision to keep a donation from what appears to be one of the more unscrupulous members of Big Pharma,” said J.P. Holyoak, chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “You have a company using profits from the sale of what has been called ‘the most potent and dangerous opioid on the market’ to prevent adults from using a far less harmful substance. In addition to selling an extremely potent and dangerous opioid, they have been under investigation by numerous states and the federal government for the manner in which they have done so.
“Their homepage touts their development of ‘pharmaceutical cannabinoids,’ which are synthetic versions of chemical compounds found in marijuana. It appears they are trying to kill a non-pharmaceutical market for marijuana in order to line their own pockets.
“Our opponents have made a conscious decision to associate with this company. They are now funding their campaign with profits from the sale of opioids — and maybe even the improper sale of opioids. We hope that every Arizonan understands that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy is now a complete misnomer. Their entire campaign is tainted by this money. Any time an ad airs against Prop. 205, the voters should know that it was paid for by highly suspect Big Pharma actors.”
The fact of the matter is, Insys is a drug company who stands to lose a lot if Prop 205 passes this November. They don’t want to take any chances – and they’ve been known to do shady stuff in the past as well. Some might compare this to the fact that the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is backed mainly by the current medical marijuana industry – who would have lots to gain if the initiative passes.
The big difference here, however, is that even though CRMLA is funded by the industry, they are just trying to expand the industry; Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy are anti-drug advocates who are taking money from a big part of Big Pharma – a company who is only looking out for themselves, not the citizens of the state. If the group has any idea of how bad it looks for them to accept this donation – no matter what the size of it is – then they would not have taken it. This is just another fine example of a pharmaceutical company trying to keep legalization out of the picture, so their addictive products will continue to sell.