Panne,Valerie Vande. “Big Pharma’s Weed Winner”. The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast. 24 01, 2014. Web. 11 08, 2015.
In Valerie Panne’s article titled “Big Pharma’s Weed Winner” published by The Daily Beast, Panne chronicles GW Pharmaceuticals new marijuana-based drug Sativex and claims that this new company is the safest of all cannabis businesses.
In her article, Panne describes Sativex and its makers GW Pharmaceuticals. Sativex is derived from cannabis and is used to treat the spasticity caused by Multiple Sclerosis. Panne argues that Sativex is “different”, because it contains THC (tetrahydrolcannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), real compounds of marijuana, unlike other synthetic marijuana-based drugs on the market (Panne). She goes on to say how legitimate GW Pharmaceuticals is because they are partnered with Bayer and Novartis, two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies out there. Panne suggests that because of this merger with large companies, this makes GW Pharmaceuticals and subsequently Sativex more attractive to investors (Panne).
Although Panne is on board for the pharmaceutical industry to get into the marijuana game, she realizes how this can affect those farmers who began commercial marijuana growing. She describes how local farmers are being “forced out” of the business because of the heady licensing fees states are now requiring for growing marijuana. Moreover, Panne writes how these local pot businesses made the marijuana market thrive, but their money is deemed illegal in the eyes of the government. Panne then goes on to say how GW Pharmaceuticals is different, presumably because they are seen as a legal enterprise (Panne). Panne concludes that because GW Pharmaceuticals has been successful with getting Sativex on the market world-wide and is trying for the U.S. , this makes them perhaps “the most safest, most trusted of all cannabis dealers” (Panne).
I cannot deny the success of GW Pharmaceuticals product that Panne feels is a game-changer, but I am doubtful of their sincerity because they are a pharmaceutical company. In the beginning of the article Panne is quoting things that she would usually say about a pharmaceutical company like “this anti-depressant is being prescribed off label and is making kids under 18 kill themselves” (Panne). A statement like this shows how Panne herself is skeptical of pharmaceutical companies. Panne overgeneralizes her argument when she says that Sativex is safe because she couldn’t find any side-effects of it , but then relays the information that the drug is only legal in twenty-four countries and is still going under trials in the U.S. (Panne). Knowing that Sativex is still under trials makes Panne’s argument of a trustworthy marijuana- based drug seem faulty, the jury is still out as to whether Sativex and GW Pharmaceuticals for that matter are safe.
Panne makes another over-generalization when she claims that GW Pharmaceuticals could be better a cannabis dealing than mom and pop organizations. GW Pharmaceuticals is one company with one marijuana-based (emphasis on based) product. Panne mentioned in her article how these local organizations were the ones that put marijuana in the spotlight, but now with her endorsing companies like GW Pharmaceuticals, its okay to snatch it from under them. Panne made a point to let her readers know that Sativex is a plant derived drug, not the plant its self. If the product doesn’t really have all the good things marijuana has to offer, it makes me wonder what else GW Pharmaceuticals has included in Sativex. Does this drug have the qualities that “mom and pop” weed has? Panne over-generalizing that this drug and its company are somehow the answer to the medical marijuana issue makes her arguments simple, in that it doesn’t cover the topics complexity.