Medicinal Cannabis Could Cost Pharmaceutical Industry Four Billion
Western medicine has made massive advancements in the last 20 years. Things that were once a death sentence no longer are. Coming of age in the 90s we all wondered who would die of AIDS in between Pearl Jam tracks. Today, managing HIV is possible, even probable. Millions are living with, not dying from, disease. It’s a medicinal miracle on many levels. Is there a problem? There’s not, unless one likes conspiracy, in which case the question is “why only management?” In other words, a cure doesn’t create customers, “management” does.
The same could be said of addiction. Humans will always find their war to trouble, it’s the nature of man, with that truth comes the principal that addiction isn’t moral , consequently we look to science for answers. With an opiate crisis raging like a burning fever, drugs like suboxone are life saving for millions but again, they create a customer, not a cure.
While we owe much to research and development within the pharmaceutical industry, the question looms about their motivation. It’s easy to argue the motivation is money. That’s a big ethical question when we’re talking about the value of human lives. Medicine can create a class system that’s literally life and death. How does profit motif impact health? It’s a a big question, one coming to the forefront with the question of medicinal cannabis.
Last week a story in Salon (link) reported that medicinal cannabis could cost the pharmaceutical industry $4 billion annually. It makes sense. Cannabis is said to help many of the aches and pains we experience in life. Additionally, there is strong support to suggest it can help with many more serious conditions. There are cancer patients stating it’s a miracle and game changing in their journey. It makes sense that the salmon swim to federally legal medicinal cannabis has a David V Goliath battle to fight with big pharma. Certainly they have a vested interest in in vilifying and criminalizing cannabis. As an example, cannabis could cut into the use of Tylenol. A simple household product like Tylenol isn’t as safe as cannabis. While we think of Tylenol as a normal product, it’s responsible for 56,000 ER visits per year and 500 deaths. Cannabis is safer. If we fight the culture war and stick with facts rather than fear, there are many safe and applicable uses for cannabis. That all adds up to cutting into the profits of big pharma.
Ultimately the question is about human suffering and how we work to relieve that. High Sobriety has a take on how cannabis can aid in addiction treatment that seems paradoxical to some and yet, it makes sense. If cannabis can provide relief from detox and help staying away from lethal dose drugs and does so safely, where’s the debate? Yesterday I heard from a doctor who said he “needed more information” before he could consider using cannabis to aid addiction. Really, doctor? Certainly you can understand that infected injection sites, spread of secondary diseases , and risk of death alleviated by a safe substance is “doing no harm”. The upside is huge and the risk is minimal. What is in question is the billions that could be lost for a specific industry.
View Complete Salon Article Here
Author: Joe Schrank, Editor-in-Chief