Tuesday was a big day for medicinal marijuana and consequently the opioid epidemic. A coalition of Attorney Generals took a stand against the opioid manufacturers. They issued subpoenas and launched an investigation into the makers and distributors of these powerful painkillers that have led to a massive increase in opiate addictions and overdose deaths.
Forty one Attorney Generals are combining efforts to hold 5 pharmaceutical companies and 3 of their distributors accountable for creating and supporting the opioid epidemic. Eric T. Schneiderman, AG from New York, initiated an investigation on Tuesday by smacking the opioid manufacturers with subpoenas. The AG wants all information pertaining to their marketing and distribution practices.The bipartisan coalition of state AGs tagged the following pharmaceutical manufacturers and their related subsidiaries:
- Allergan Inc.
- Endo International plc
- Janssen Pharmaceuticals
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
- Purdue Pharmaceutical
Responsible for approximately 90 percent of the nation’s distribution network, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson have also come under the microscope of scrutiny for their questionable distribution practices.
New York’s AG explained, “too often, prescription opioids are the on-ramp to addiction for millions of Americans.” Schneiderman, whose office has pledged to utilize every asset available to crush America’s opioid epidemic stated, “We are committed to getting to the bottom of the broken system that has fueled the epidemic and taken far too many lives.”
The New York AG stated on Tuesday, “opioids are the on-ramp to addiction” and coincidentally Dr. Oz connected the dots on the same day calling marijuana out as the “exit”. Oz tells a Fox panel discussing the opioid subject, “The real story at hand is the hypocrisy around medical marijuana.” People say marijuana is a gateway drug to narcotics; it may be the exit drug to get us out of the narcotic epidemic.”
Oz was cut off quickly and the conversation abruptly ended. However, pandora’s box cannot be closed. Several studies have linked marijuana to ending the opioid crisis. As previously reported by SSL, researchers have confirmed marijuana is an effective tool to combat opioid addiction.
Big pharma already faces dozens of lawsuits brought by cities, counties and states including Ohio where the opioid epidemic has decimated the city. Missouri and Oklahoma are also suing opioid manufacturers and distributors seeking to recoup costs incurred from the surge in emergency response from spikes in opioid-related overdoses. The strategy is reminiscent of the successful litigation brought by states and municipalities three decades ago against tobacco companies.
91 people will die today from an opioid related overdose today as Governor Chris Chrisite ignores marijuana’s usefulness in treating the epidemic. If we are seriously going to address the issues crippling our nation a discussion must occur around medicinal marijuana and the potential for it to end the opioid crisis. We’ve been writing about how pot can help ease the crisis. If Dr. Oz—the most mainstream of mainstream America—is saying there is hypocrisy around medical marijuana then it’s about time the rest of the nation realize the truth. And do something about it.