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Cannabis Reform Opponents Are Largely Funded By Pharmaceutical Companies


pharmacy medical marijuana michiganIf you have followed the fight to end cannabis prohibition, than you have no doubt heard of the organizations Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America). These two groups are at the forefront of the fight to maintain cannabis prohibition in America. They claim that they fight cannabis reform because they want to keep America drug free.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America holds an annual event near Washington D.C.. This year’s event included numerous guest speakers who talked about the harms of dangerous drugs, drug abuse, and the need to fight cannabis reform at all costs. The sad irony is that the event was sponsored by Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, which is a highly addictive drug that kills numerous people every year. To say that there is hypocrisy involved is an understatement.

The fact of the matter is that the people leading the fight against cannabis reform have a direct financial incentive to keep cannabis prohibition in place. Pharmaceutical companies have long funded cannabis opponents in an attempt to keep Americans from replacing harmful pharmaceuticals with helpful cannabis. Per The Nation:

The Nation obtained a confidential financial disclosure from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids showing that the group’s largest donors include Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and Abbott Laboratories, maker of the opioid Vicodin. CADCA also counts Purdue Pharma as a major supporter, as well as Alkermes, the maker of a powerful and extremely controversial new painkiller called Zohydrol. The drug, which was released to the public in March, has sparked a nationwide protest, since Zohydrol is reportedly ten times stronger than OxyContin. Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that produces the painkiller Nucynta, and Pfizer, which manufactures several opioid products, are also CADCA sponsors. For corporate donors, CADCA offers a raft of partnership opportunities, including authorized use of the “CADCA logo for your company’s marketing, website, and advertising materials, etc.”

When cannabis prohibitionists say that they are fighting cannabis reform because it’s the right thing to do, don’t believe them. When they say that they believe in keeping Americans from using harmful drugs, ask yourself why then are they accepting money from pharmaceutical companies that are responsible for killing thousands of Americans every year? Cannabis has never killed someone from an overdose. Not one time. When it comes to anti-cannabis prohibition and the people that are spewing it, don’t believe the hype, and follow the money trail.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Medical cannabis allowed me to get off of the death pills like Oxycodone, Percocet and Tramadol. Tramadol killed a woman in the UK, and even Tylenol killed a man in Florida who was sent home with a bottle to self-administer and destroyed his kidneys and liver. Cannabis is 100% non-toxic and you cannot overdose or kill yourself on it.

  2. There have been various leaders of marijuana reform that have derided reformers who accused pharmaceutical companies, and other groups, of supporting prohibition as “conspiracy theorists.”

    I hope this has woken them all up. We have also seen the organized opposition by police, prosecutors, prisons, the alcohol industry, the drug testing and “treatment” industries. It’s pretty safe to assume that money-laundering banks and the billionaire drug gangs have also contributed mightily to protect the monstrous fraud of marijuana prohibition.

    For a good view underneath the ice burg, see Catherine Austin Fitts’ excellent article: “Narco Dollars For Beginners.” – keeping in mind that while Fitts employs cocaine because it best suits her metaphor, FBI statistics show marijuana sales comprise 80 percent of all “illegal” drug transactions.

    The marijuana-prohibition-industrial-police-criminal complex is very real and our primary opponent.

  3. “Taking out” prohibitionists would probably be as effective as the government’s “taking out” drug gang leaders.

    There are always plenty more to take their place.
    We are doing it right when we focus on CHANGING THE SYSTEM.

  4. Terminal Justice would have to commit genocide to clean them out. Killing a handful of CEO’s and next in line’s would not get it done. Is genocide a good thing if it’s for a GREAT cause? Could be. Could very well be.

  5. Doc Deadhead on

    In your backyard in one summer you can grow enough medicine to help yourself and a few family members, for the year, with a whole host of ailments.

    Every week it seems there is a new study out about another ailment being CURED with cannabis and new “symptoms being managed”.

    You see……the word CURE isn’t in the big pharma vernacular, instead it’s “help manage symptoms”.

    Big pharma does not want people to be able to HEAL themselves and that is the threat from cannabis, it actually cures as well as “manages symptoms”, completely removing the need for many pharmaceuticals.

    And big pharma will never sell a natural product, they must ‘create’ it pharmaceutically, patent it, give it a name(marinol, sativex) and charge out the yang for it until the patent runs out.

    They will be the movements largest opposer for business reasons. They would certainly oppose the people being able to grow their own opiates and anti-depressants as well.

    Just wait until big liquor chimes in…….they probably have the most to lose. If I can freely grow pot I will make fewer trips to the liquor store, right? What happens when 20 years from now the people understand how harmful alcohol is and how harmless pot is and move to ALCOHOL PROHIBITION!

    There are still dry counties all over the south where the people VOTE EVERY election to NOT allow alcohol in their county. I can see more of this on the horizon as the pot haters will have to hate alcohol instead.

    You see, we can vote to NOT have alcohol but there would never be a vote to abolish pharmaceuticals from your county!

    Things might get ugly when big alcohol gets involved for the fight of their lives!

  6. This is to Anthrogrow I personaly want to thank you for your service to our country. Sincerely God Bless.
    I do not say that often hardly ever only for absolute sincerely.
    The Devel did not create marijauna THIS IS A GiFT FROM OUR CREATER…so all you bible thumpers out their stop interpreting the bible to fit your own needs. Legalize marijauna and stop the corruption, stop the pill pushers, stop black market sales of laced weed (yes it’s true most people don’t notice). Create better living for any person who chose to partake in Gods Gift (this will piss someone off but what if Jesus smoked canabis I bet he did, is it still Devels weed?)

    Moses I feel for you brother I suffer from back pains and I am sure your pains are worse than mine. I feel for you and hopefully these anti marijauna pill pushing corrupt pharmacies and religious nut cakes that don’t know shit but only what they are told and take a blind I and are ignorant of the facts you can’t say god made the world, animals, peoplle, insects, water that god made everything and there is a purpose of every thing even plants but not marijauna. Legal marijauna America.

  7. Robert Dewayne King on

    In the ’70s a couple of my shipmates bought some weed that just blew them away , sat ’em down smilin’ for hours ! when they went looking for that dealer again they found that he had been arrested for selling smack and had been cutting his weed with it to get people to come find him for more !
    When you returned for the 3rd or 4th refill he would try to sell you smack and would claim to be out of weed ! He addicted quite a few unwary sailors before he was caught !!

  8. Future Vision on

    “Terminal Justice is a underground movement of terminal people with their mission set on being martyrs to give what little time they have left to rid the world of Ceo’s and people in high positions at companies from drug companies, health insurance, to the auto industry. People that value the dollar over the well being and safety of the citizens of the world are the targets. The dying can do what they want, you cannot punish a dying man or woman with anything worse than the death that is already taking their life.Let the seed of this be blown to the wind and take take root where there is injustice in the world.” I read about this recently and thought people should know about it. This was copied directly from the article. Thought Provoking indeed!

  9. bigdaddiejoejoe on

    The feds have paid over $250000 for marinol since 1993 on my behaf…..little wonder the pharms are bankrolling this anti pot party

  10. stellarvoyager on

    I wonder how much Partnership for “Drug Free” Kids is pushing for the use of ritalin in public schools.

  11. Please let me be the first one to tell you. Morphine, oxi whatever form is not conducive to life, it’s a slow poison. To be brief, my body is broke from someone else’s fault., I took pills to work, pills took my bowels , and now I can’t take morphine. When you complain to doctors that they have not fixed you, they won’t admit it, you just need to excersize and take your pills they say, . Excersize for me is not like other people. When I started taking pills I could walk, see, drive have sex. Now I am stuck in a bed, no income, can’t see, I am in intense pain all the time
    , I pray legal canabis comes to my state.
    Morphine without canabis is genocide of the very sick and disabled
    Take back the world from evil corporation driven by profits over morality and life. For some of you this is not life or death, but it could. If it happened to me …..

  12. I was a daily cannabis smoker for six years during the 1980’s in Alaska, when it was decriminalized there. When I moved in Minnesota, where it is still illegal, I was able to quit very easily. I know without any question whatsoever that cannabis is not addictive, and no naysayer will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

    The one and only reason it can be addictive is when the black market laces it with addictive substances to keep customers coming back for more. Nobody wants crap-laced weed. Make it completely legal and competitive, and the lacing problem will go away.

    Colorado is already experiencing an enormous cash tax benefit as a result of legalization, not to mention that it is putting Mexican cannabis growers out of business.

  13. That’s the problem when major companies dictate our policy? Hey people no tater what they say they aren’t your friends. They don’t give a damn about you,your loved ones or any person. The only thing they care about is there stock holders and making a profit. They don’t care if millions of people get addicted to opiates ( if you don’t know what an opiate is look it up, don’t take my word for it ). No one has died from marijauna, you do not get sick if you decide to quit using marijauna. But be on opiate pain meds a few weeks and you will soon need more. The word is need your body loves opiates. Stop big bussiness. Stop corruption legalize America.

  14. Isn’t it hilarious that the same people / parents that preach this old “drug free kids” message are the same parents that load their children and themselves up on handfuls of toxic pharmaceutical drugs. Ohhhh my son has an attitude problem, lets give him Adderal, Xanax, and 20 other drugs, see how he does in school then. Waaaahh I’m sad, doctor please give me lots of drugs! Oh no, I can use a safe and natural plant for healing? No way, that’s from the devil. As a combat veteran with PTSD and chronic pain from combat injuries, I tried every pharma drug they gave me. Side effects ruined me for awhile and didn’t even work. Cannabis helped me heal, and I would probably be dead without it.

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