Research Summary 4

Topanga Knox

Elliott, Steve. “U.S.: Anti-Marijuana ‘Experts’ Are Paid By Big Pharma Painkiller Drug Companies”. Hemp News. Hemp News, 29 Aug, 2014. Web. 03 Aug, 2015.

In Steve Elliot’s article for Hemp News,”U.S.: Anti-Marijuana ‘Experts’ Are Paid By Big Pharma Painkiller Drug Companies”, Elliot focuses on how the pharmaceutical industry’s business dealings with medical professionals and anti-drug organizations have stifled the legalization of marijuana. This text¬† sheds light on the medical community that has been outspoken against pot. It also highlights key people who have been extremely influential in keeping marijuana illegal, and viewed as bad in the eyes of the public.

This article is a very credible source, because the platform it has been published on is solely dedicated to marijuana reform. The article can be found on Hemp News. com, an Oregon based publication that has been advocating for the benefits of marijuana use since 1991. The fact that Hemp News has been running for over twenty years speaks on how credible it is seen a source for news pertaining to marijuana. The writer of the article is Steve Elliott, he is also the author of “The Little Black Book of Marijuana: The Essential Guide to the World of Cannabis”. He has been published in The Seattle Weekly and Village Voice Media. He also an editor for Hemp News. His extensive background in journalism and knowledge of marijuana makes Elliott the perfect voice to chime in about the politics of legalization. Elliott seems very passionate about his work, which makes his argument stronger, and leaves no room to second guess how he feels about it. In this particular piece, Elliott writes in a way that is very informative, but isn’t boring. His verbiage isn’t necessarily angry, its just strong in nature, in that he really portrays Big Pharma the way it should be portrayed. In the article there are several journals and prominent medical personnel being quoted and cited in the text. It is made apparent that Elliott knows what he speaks of, and has the research to back what he is saying. With all the evidence shown it would be almost impossible not to believe what Elliot is claiming about drug companies. He uses the pharmaceutical companies own cheerleaders to banish any idea that the marijuana legalization movement hasn’t been tampered with. His evidence is very convincing and is hard to refute. All things combined Elliott and his article are credible, reliable, and to be taken serious.

With a critical eye, Elliott focuses on how big drug companies like Purdue Pharma and Pfizer have doctors on their payrolls to serve as yes-men to their questionable pharmaceuticals and nay-sayers to the benefits of marijuana. Throughout the text Elliott is very forthcoming with the names of “scientist” and “researchers”, who in his opinion, have “sold out”(Elliott).¬† He claims that medical professionals have been paid to bolster the regressive arguments of Big Pharma (Elliott). He mentions one doctor-liaison in particular, Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University, who has constantly been used as a reference to reinforce the belief that marijuana has no use and should forever be classified as a schedule one narcotic. Elliott draws attention to the little known fact that Kleber is being paid by Purdue Pharma while he peddles the ills of marijuana. Elliott says that his writings are inaccurate and dramatic, but are still heavily quoted by scholarly journals and the popular press (Elliott). Elliott disproves Kleber’s total condemning of marijuana by finding research of his own that has found favorable uses for marijuana outside a recreational high.

Elliott also highlights what Lee Fang’s article “The Real Reason Pot Is Illegal” focuses on, which are lobbying groups such as CADCA and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, being used much like doctors to counter marijuana reform. Elliott notes that these organizations have relied heavily on Big Pharma funding, and subsequently only down the damaging effects of continued opioid use (Elliott). Elliott argues that anti-marijuana organizations use all their resources toward marijuana prohibition, but almost turn a blind eye to the major issue of prescription drug abuse.

Elliott’s observations of Big Pharma’s interaction with anti-marijuana groups and academics makes a very convincing argument that there has been a conscious effort to rid the medical and pharmaceutical communities of marijuana. Elliott’s findings that scholarly journals and doctors alike can basically be bought by Big Pharma shows how profitable prescription pills are, and how far the benefactors of those industries are willing to go keep marijuana off the table.




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