Legalization of medical marijuana use has been fought by Big Pharma for years because it cuts into their profits. You only have to look at the campaign contributions to state and federal legislators to see how much influence they have in decisions made by government.
Recent studies show that painkiller abuse particularly opioids overdoses are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. These studies were validated by researchers at the University of Georgia who have linked the use of medical marijuana to falling doses of prescription drugs.
They found in the 17 states with a medical marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared to states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year.
The rapidly decreasing numbers for painkiller prescriptions in medical marijuana states are causing great concern among pharmaceutical companies. These companies have long been in opposition to marijuana reform for decades. This is a follow the money argument.
The reason medical marijuana causes concern for Big Pharma is they realize that the use of medical marijuana will severely cut into their profits. The Department of Health and Human Services found that about $165 million was saved in the 17 medical marijuana states in 2013 alone and it’s estimated that annual Medicare prescriptions savings would be over half a billion dollars if all 50 states would implement similar programs. We talk about rising medical costs but we can’t see the forest for the trees. Big Pharma is one of the primary causes of rising medical costs and higher insurance premiums.
The real problem in this country are the lobbyists and Big Pharma has more lobbyists and spends more money on lobbying than every other industry. They fight anything that might cut into their profits. Think about the fact that drug companies now spend over $5 billion a year on advertising. These companies have long been at the forefront of opposition to marijuana reform, funding research by anti-pot academics and funneling dollars to groups, such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, that oppose marijuana legalization. More often than not Big Pharma is the problem, not the solution.