There has been a lot of noise lately around the marijuana industry, especially since the 2016 elections. Furthermore, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adding fire to the flame, and the press is jumping on for the ride, turning pointless stories into trending buzz.
Sure, politicians may be delaying legalization, but are they really the cause of the problem?
For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has been highly profitable. The recipe for such profits has been pretty simple. For most of the last half-century it was easy; discover a chemical or molecule that treats a common problem, like hypertension or diabetes or erectile dysfunction, and make billions of dollars while that product is still under patent protection.
Marijuana is ruining their party
Over the last couple of years, cannabis has become a major threat to these massive giants, forcing them to pour millions into the pockets of corrupt politicians as they lobbied to keep the drug illegal. Think about it logically. Pharmaceutical companies invest millions into research and procedures in creating drugs; then the natural drug ‘marijuana’ comes along only to threaten their businesses.
According to a recent study1, pot contributed to a savings of $165.2 million in prescription costs in 2013.
In a different study published in 2014 by the Journal of the American Medical Association2, opiate overdoses dropped by roughly 25% in states that have legalized medical marijuana compared to states that have prohibited sales of the plant. The study implies that people could be using medical marijuana to treat their pain rather than opioid painkillers.
Guess who is losing out?
So Why Don’t Pharmaceuticals Capitalize on Pot?
That is easier said than done. Most big Pharma’s are massive corporate organizations that have working procedures and steady business models – ones that have been developed over years. To shift into the “new” marijuana business would be like steering the Titanic – and we all know what happened to the titanic. We are not saying that it is not possible, we are simply saying that it is a difficult shift for these companies.
So What’s Their Solution?
Instead of investing in something that could be the future, most of these companies are taking the easy route. They have funded research that’s been performed by anti-pot groups of academics as well as funneled money to groups like The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. They have lobbied heavily towards certain federal agencies and are constantly putting pressure on the DEA to restrict the drug.
Thanks to activists in the field and those that truly understand the benefits of the plant, research has been moving forward (as slow as a snail, but at least there is progress) . Studies are just beginning to confirm the benefits of marijuana on other conditions such as anxiety which has been treated up until now with pills such as Xanax. Other serious conditions are also being treated with cannabis as CBD’s health benefits are shocking researchers.
Although cannabis research has been at a near standstill for decades, the industry is expanding, and more and more companies are diving into the field. Furthermore, 8 States have become recreational, and according to the legislative analysts, the cannabis market is expected to balloon over the next couple of years, driving exponential revenue.
According to recent data, retail sales of marijuana clocked in at $6.5 billion last year, up from $3.8 billion in 2015. Furthermore, the marijuana black market is worth $36 billion. Just imagine what would happen if marijuana was legalized on a Federal Level. Total sales could surpass $40 billion.
Add up all the numbers, and you’ll reach the conclusion that federal prohibition can’t continue. In addition, when looking at the overall picture, it looks as though a legislative change at the federal level is extremely overdue.
Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online (in Minutes)