Several academics and researchers who oppose cannabis have worked with pharmaceutical companies that could take a hit if marijuana is legalized.
A report in VICE.com details some of these connections, saying they “add fodder to the argument that drug firms maintain quiet ties to the marijuana prohibition lobby.”
In some cases, the individuals have been quoted in the media, but their ties to pharmaceutical companies was not disclosed. In others, the researchers wrote opinion pieces against cannabis but did not reveal they had worked with companies making painkillers that theoretically compete with marijuana.
Some examples cited in the piece:
– Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University – who is often quoted in the media and in academic journals warning about the health effects of marijuana – was a paid consultant to leading painkiller companies, including the maker of OxyContin.
– Dr. A. Eden Evins of Harvard Medical School – who recently wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times saying that society is “going in the wrong direction on marijuana” – sits on the board of the anti-cannabis group Project SAM and has served as a consultant for Pfizer and DLA Piper. She also has received support from GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies.
– Dr. Mark L. Kraus – who has a private practice and officially opposed Connecticut’s medical cannabis law – served on advisory panels for Pfizer and other companies that make painkillers.