Taking the stage to rousing applause last February, [Patrick] Kennedy joined more than 2,000 opponents of marijuana legalization a few miles south of Washington, DC, at the annual convention of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA), one of the largest such organizations in the country.
“Let me tell you, there is nothing more inconsistent with trying to improve mental health and reduce substance-abuse disorders in this country than to legalize a third drug,” Kennedy boomed.
Unless that “third drug” is safer and less toxic than the other drugs, and would likely lead to lower use of those other drugs. So who, prey tell, could be against that?
Given that CADCA is dedicated to protecting society from dangerous drugs, the event that day had a curious sponsor: Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxy-Contin, the highly addictive painkiller that nearly ruined Kennedy’s congressional career and has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.
Prescription opioids, a line of pain-relieving medications derived from the opium poppy or produced synthetically, are the most dangerous drugs abused in America, with more than 16,000 deaths annually linked to opioid addiction and overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. The recent uptick in heroin use around the country has been closely linked to the availability of prescription opioids, which give their users a similar high and can trigger a heroin craving in recovering addicts. (Notably, there are no known deaths related to marijuana, although there have been instances of impaired driving.)
This article is more proof that the simplest way to understand how our world works is to follow the money, and the vast amount of money spent to ban marijuana and hemp will give you an small idea of the even more vast profits that are being protected by the competitors of legal marijuana and hemp. From alcohol, tobacco, and prescription pills, to fossil fuels, petrochemicals, and the entrenched agribusiness interests of soy, wheat, and corn: All these industries would lose business to a thriving hemp market, while independent farmers and manufacturers of America would benefit. I guess it’s pretty clear which side those industries are on…
The good news is that legally grown hemp and marijuana are now as inevitable as solar powered homes and cars, the bad news is that these these multinational corporations will do everything in their power to delay the legalization of this wonder crop for as long as possible while they keep raking in their Federally protected profits.