Supporters of Proposition 205, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Arizona, is criticizing the opposition campaign’s decision to accept a massive contribution from a pharmaceutical company with a suspicious reputation and a financial interest in keeping marijuana illegal. According to campaign finance reports, the committee formed to oppose Prop.
205, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, received a $500,000 contribution on August 31 from Insys Therapeutics, Inc. According to a CNBC investigative piece about the Chandler-based company – titled “The pain killer: A drug company putting profits above patients” – Insys Therapeutic’s revenue is “Almost entirely derived from the highly addictive opiate fentanyl,” which experts call “The most potent and dangerous opioid on the market.” Insys’s aggressive marketing and other shady business practices have triggered multiple state and federal investigations, including one conducted by the Arizona Attorney General.
The front page of Insys’s website also touts its development of “Pharmaceutical cannabinoids,” which are synthetic versions of natural chemical compounds found in marijuana.
“We are truly shocked by our opponents’ decision to keep a donation from what appears to be one of the more unscrupulous members of Big Pharma,” said J.P. Holyoak, chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting Proposition 205.
“You have a company using profits from the sale of what has been called ‘the most potent and dangerous opioid on the market’ to prevent adults from using a far less harmful substance. In addition to selling an extremely potent and dangerous opioid, they have been under investigation by numerous states and the federal government for the manner in which they have done so.”Their homepage touts their development of ‘pharmaceutical cannabinoids,’ which are synthetic versions of chemical compounds found in marijuana.
It appears they are trying to kill a non-pharmaceutical market for marijuana in order to line their own pockets,” Holyoak added.
“Our opponents have made a conscious decision to associate with this company.
They are now funding their campaign with profits from the sale of opioids – and maybe even the improper sale of opioids. We hope that every Arizonan understands that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy is now a complete misnomer. 205, the voters should know that it was paid for by highly suspect Big Pharma actors.
” Arizona is one of five states considering measures to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in November.