Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Who Is Secretly Working To Keep Pot Illegal – Big Pharma?

with 13 comments

This is an extract from an article by Steven Kotler,
a science writer who lives in New Mexico.
The full article can be read here.


In 2009, the global pharmaceutical market was worth $837 billion—and it’s on track to top $1 trillion by 2014. This is a lot of money to spread around, so when it comes to lobbying efforts, very few have this group’s clout. Mostly, Big Pharma gets what Big Pharma wants. And one thing it wants is for marijuana to remain illegal.

It’s not hard to figure out why. You can’t patent a plant—and that’s a big problem for pharmaceutical companies when it comes to medical marijuana.


Imagine a wonder drug able to provide much-needed relief from dozens and dozens of conditions. Imagine it’s cheap, easy to grow, easy to dispense, easy to ingest and, over millennia of “product testing,” has produced no fatalities and few side effects—except for the fact that it “reportedly” makes you feel really, really good. That would be quite a drug. Knowing all this, it’s easy to see why the pharmaceutical industry worries about competition from marijuana.

And besides its palliative prowess, researchers consistently find that patients prefer smoking marijuana to taking prescription drugs. In another study run by Reiman, 66 percent of her patients used cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs; 68 percent used it instead of prescription drugs to treat a chronic condition and 85 percent reported that cannabis had fewer side effects than other medicines.

Miracle Medicine

Early on, the pharmaceutical industry fought back by spending money on anti-pot efforts, but the same NORML investigation that fingered the alcohol and tobacco industries as heavy backers of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America found that Big Pharma was doing so as well. “They were so embarrassed by that revelation” says MAPS founder Rick Doblin, “that they mostly stopped spending money on anti-marijuana lobbying efforts.”

Since then, the pharmaceutical industry has shifted its focus to developing alternatives to medical cannabis, often taking the traditional reductionist approach. Specifically, these days, if a pharmaceutical company wants to turn a plant into a medicine they isolate the most active ingredient and make what’s known as a “single-compound drug.” Morphine, for example, is really just the chemical core of the poppy plant. This too has been tried with marijuana. Out of the 400 chemicals in marijuana, 80 of them belong to a class called “cannabinoids.” Out of those 80 cannabinoids, a number of pharmaceutical companies have tried reducing marijuana to only one: THC. But the results have been unsatisfactory.

“There are certain cases,” says Doblin, “where the single-compound formula works wonders. But it’s just not true in every case. The pharmaceutical industry keeps claiming they’re not worried about medical marijuana because they make a better product, but when you reduce cannabis to just THC, you lose efficacy and gain side effects.”

13 Responses

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  1. Babylonians, Suckers of Satans Cock, every single one of them. Thanks Peter for re-posting this but now I feel sick. :s


    February 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  2. A nice read for me in the afternoon before a pipe and a cup of tea. Ahhhhhhhh…….

    New Zealand growing strong (Architect)

    February 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm

  3. Keep up the good work Peter this is something I have fought against for a while. but now have to accept that Big Pharma now completely control cannabis.
    China is the one to worry about though they are now looking at the electrical harmonics of THC in the brain.

    John Ellis

    February 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

  4. The greed of man. It’s sickening.


    February 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm

  5. Congratulations on winning the leadership of the LCA by the way Peter. I got my fingers crossed for some serious progress.


    February 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    • Thank you Stephen. I shall do my best.

      Peter Reynolds

      February 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm

  6. Congratulations, Peter – you will be ‘suited’ to it.


    February 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

  7. Congratulations, Peter and
    what is wrong with the world when the best free medicine in the that is essentialy free is illegeal or morally wrong i for on will b voteing for the first time since there has been no point in voteing in the next ” dictator ” free weed free the world my friend


    February 16, 2011 at 2:36 am

  8. We know this and yet it still remains illegal? When will the citizens of this nation finally say “thats it, we know the truth, we’ve had all we can take, just legalize dam it!” when?

    Brent in KY

    February 16, 2011 at 3:42 am

  9. Great article and congratulations Peter!
    I’ll tell you why Brent, its because they don’t care and its not to their personal financial benefit. SOOOOO WRONG!
    Anyone watching the ITN specials on the news at ten this week? They are focusing on the Mexican boarder. 36,000 dead in the War On Drugs since 2006 and to top it all they have appointed a 21 year old girl ( yes, you heard me..21)to be head of police in one of the most dangerous areas. Her predecessor’s head was left on the door step of the police station. I ask you? And they say we have reefer madness. The whole bloody lot of them are crazy, wicked bastards. They know they are in the wrong but they simply do not care. Apologies in advance for the bad language


    February 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

  10. I’m sure alot of people will have seen this already, but it is probably worth a second viewing anyway.

    Big Pharma certainly wouldn’t a free cure for cancer would they?


    February 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

  11. When will the change ever come? All I wont to do is chill out some evenings, vape a little Haze to help take the edge of my consciousness, have a good time and a little fun. These bastard say I can’t, that its illegal to do so. They convince the general tax paying public and their puppet politicians that pot smokers are lazy dangerous people who will become psychotic and useless members of society. Well, I am 60 years old, left home when I was 16 and have never claimed the dole in my life despite being out of work a few times. Have smoked cannabis, on and off since I was 14. I came to where I live now with £60 in my pocket, a guitar and a dirty sleeping bag. Today, I hold down a responsible job, own my property outright, have two grown up wonderful well balanced daughters – one is a teacher, the other looks after children with special needs – and am a grandfather to their 3 children. No great achievement in the whole scheme of things, but a million miles away from the type of person these money loving mother fuckers say I am.
    These days as I do not want to get involved in the criminality of it all, and I have to travel to The Netherlands, the land of the higher society, to indulge in one of my favoured pastime. The public sit back and moan as they read in the Daily Fail and the Torygraph that Bob Diamond, the C.E.O. of Barclay’s Bank, gets an annual bonus of (that’s just his bonus folks) of £6.5 million, and then go on their way paying higher taxes and receiving far less interest on their savings so Bob the Rob and his cronies can wallow in their own greed.


    March 8, 2011 at 12:19 am

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