AZ: Pro-Marijuana Campaign Questions Chandler Medical Firm’s Opposition

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A Chandler firm that could lose business from legalized marijuana is now the largest contributor to a campaign to stop that from happening here.

Reports filed with the secretary of state’s office show Insys Therapeutics, whose sole product is an opiate spray to treat pain for cancer patients, gave $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. That is nearly four times more than the second largest donation to try to defeat Proposition 205, which was $110,000 from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

J.P. Holyoak, who chairs the committee pushing the initiative, said the interest of pharmaceutical companies in keeping marijuana illegal comes down to protection of profits. He said firms don’t want the competition.

“They want to be able to push their far more addictive, far more harmful and far more dangerous opioid drugs,” Holyoak said. He said that is particularly true of a company like Insys whose business relies solely on a single product that has received federal approval: Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray.

In its own prepared statement, Insys said it opposes the initiative “because it fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.” And the company noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana for any medical use.

“We believe that all available medicines should meet the clinical standards set by the FDA,” the statement says.

The statement says Insys has nothing against the cannabinoids, the ingredients in marijuana, assuming they are properly used. In fact, the company’s website says it has seven such products in various stages of development.

Deguire, for his part, said there’s also reason to look at who is supporting Proposition 205.

Most of the cash has come from the Marijuana Policy Project, an out-of-state interest. And he noted a series of five-figure checks from donors who that “stand to make millions if Prop 205 passes, with no regards to its negative effects.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Pro-Marijuana Campaign Questions Chandler Medical Firm’s Opposition
Author: Howard Fischer
Contact: 480-898-6500
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Website: East Valley Tribune