Painkiller Companies Fund Anti-Marijuana Academics

Herbert Kleber

Herbert Kleber

“Quid pro quo. Yes or no?” – Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs

In news that shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, leading researchers who have come out against legalizing pot are taking payola from pharmaceutical drug makers. VICE reports that many anti-marijuana academics get paid by companies that manufacture products that could easily be replaced by cannabis. Of course, these prominent individuals fail to disclose their possible conflict of interest when they stump against marijuana.

Here are the anti-marijuana academics highlighted By VICE:

Dr. Herbert Kleber, Columbia University professor, has been a paid consultant to leading prescription drug companies, including Purdue Pharma (the maker of OxyContin), Reckitt Benckiser (the producer of a painkiller called Nurofen), and Alkermes (the producer of a powerful new opioid called Zohydro). He’s been quoted in NPR and CNBC, and written anti-pot Op-Eds for CNBC.

Dr. A. Eden Evins, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has received grant/research support from Envivo, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, as well as being a consultant for the pharmaceutical giant. In 2011, Phizer acquired King Pharmaceuticals (the makers of several opioid products) and is currently working to introduce Remoxy, an OxyContin competitor. She’s written Op-Ed pieces against marijuana use in the New York Times.

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Dr. Mark L. Kraus, a board member to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, has served on the scientific advisory panel for painkiller companies such as Pfizer and Reckitt Benckiser in the year prior to his activism against a medical pot bill.

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