Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a distinguished Democratic senator gave pharmaceutical companies a verbal beating for opposing and trying to derail marijuana legalization.
The senator berated the companies for treating cannabis as competition for chronic pain medications. She added that it is outrageous for them to criticize marijuana as there is no overdose issue with the substance.
Studies have shown that opioid drugs are often substantially addictive compared to its natural counterpart in battling chronic pain.
“On the federal level, we really need to say it is a legal drug you can access if you need it,” Sen. Gillibrand claimed.
The Senator also responded to the question regarding the concern that marijuana is a gateway drug to more harmful substances.
Alarmist public service announcements warned the children of the ‘80s and ’90s to be aware of gateway drugs. They put particular emphasis on marijuana. They called the program the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or D.A.R.E., a movement in accordance with the government’s drug control program during that time.
In her guest appearance on Good Day New York, Sen. Gillibrand stated that she doesn’t see cannabis as a substance that will encourage its users to try harder drugs. She also added that it is what she sees the opioid industry and some drug companies do.
“[They] are just trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country,” she further added.
The D.A.R.E. program now even acknowledges that the majority of the people who smoked pot never pursued pills or powders.
Advocates of the legalization movement have long been speculating big pharmaceutical companies to manipulate the scenes behind the cannabis prohibition. One of the prime suspects is Insys Therapeutics, maker of products that contain fentanyl and other opioids. They also made a synthetic version of the Tetrahydrocannabinol cannabinoid (THC). In 2016, they donated $500,000 to aid the fight the marijuana legalization actions in Arizona.
Several reports have even shown that the access to legal cannabis was correlated with the decrease in the overdose rates of opioid users.
Just this February, results from a research analyzed that legal medical marijuana dispensaries reduced the harms from opioid-related dangers to some patients. The study concluded that some individuals substitute cannabis with the amount of opioid they consume while others have forgone the use of opiates completely.
Researchers from the Journal of Health and Economics expounded that marijuana is significantly less addictive than opioids. They also said that the potential for cannabis overdose is nearly zero.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the second U.S senator to cosponsor the act that will end the federal restriction on cannabis. Gillibrand announced her support in live stream video on February 14 with Senator Cory Booker. This effort further pushes the support in making the substance legal at the federal level.
The senator also recently signed a memorandum calling for new laws related to marijuana. The letter requested for the state cannabis laws to be included in the federal spending measures.
“I think medical marijuana could be a treatment for a lot of folks,” Gillibrand said in an interview. “A lot of veterans have told us that this is the best treatment for them. I do not see it as a gateway drug.”
Some political scientist professionals speculated that she will run for the presidential nomination in 2020 representing her party. Two more potential Democratic possibilities have already shown their support in the movement to legalize marijuana.