by Countable | 3.8.18
At a press conference in Ohio the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Health Secretary Alex Azar proclaimed, "There really is no such thing as medical marijuana", while championing the federal government’s allocation of millions to develop opioid alternatives.
Ohio is just about to begin licensing medical marijuana businesses in the state. Medical marijuana was legalized there in September 2016.
Azar was appearing at an inpatient facility that treats newborns suffering from prenatal drug exposure. He went on to say, "There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that."
But he insisted that the administration and Congress are investing millions in research to develop opioid alternatives for pain relief:
"We are devoting hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of research at our National Institutes of Health as part of the historic $13 billion opioid and serious mental illness program that the president and Congress are funding. Over $750 million just in 2019 alone is going to be dedicated towards the National Institutes of Health working in public-private partnership to try and develop the next generation of pain therapies that are not opioids."
The administration does not see the development of medical marijuana as an alternative pain treatment.
Do you agree with Secretary Azar or not? Should the federal government pursue the reclassification of marijuana so that research on medical marijuana can happen on the federal level? Or is money better spent on researching other therapies?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Laurie Avocado / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
Who is Human and Health Services Secretary Alex Azar? Just appointed by #45 in January 2018, Azar is a lawyer, not a doctor or scientist. Azar was quoted as saying he entered the health care field, “largely by accident”. Azar worked as a senior executive for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly for five years. In those 60 months at Eli Lilly, Azar built his financial portfolio, (meaning he made himself rich), from $9.5 million to $20.6 million. Just as an FYI, Eli Lilly is the pharmaceutical company that inflated their prices on insulin and other commonly used medications. When asked about the inflated prices, Azar blamed the ‘system’ for the skyrocketing hike. Basically, Azar fits into #45’s administration like a gold-plated, self-entitled, I’ll take away anything I can from the middle class, working class and poor because I’m rich, perfectly. The guy he replaced, Tom Price, was the guy who used taxpayers dollars and military aircraft for his own first class travel. The bottom line here is this: To listen to Azar about the HHS agency is like listening to a pest exterminator about what to feed your new puppy! Ask the health care providers and scientists about the uses for medical marijuana; then make up your mind.
Ultra capitalist extremists don’t see cannabis as an alternative to opiates because they make tons of money on opiates. Cannabis requires minimal processing to be an effective medicine and most people could prepare it themselves. That means you can’t get rich off legal cannabis. The corruption of that horrible man will perpetuate the suffering of Americans.
Azar, like the 45 administration and the GOP, is an ass. There are countless studies, to say nothing of the millions of personal testimonies, that show medical marijuana to have a myriad of applications. Pouring money into Big Pharma to come up with the next addictive, widely abused pain med is a gift to the greedy and the ignorant. Get out of the reefer madness dark ages!
Cannabis saved me from the grips of severe opiate addiction and it can save millions more! I thank God for cannabis it’s given me my life back and my daughter her mother back. Please consider doing the right thing and legalize cannabis nationally for any person who can benefit from this holistic medicine. We the people want it and we the people deserve it.
After 17 years on opioids, I stepped myself off them without withdrawal. My wife died of fentanyl intoxication (coroner’s report) when the delivery system—a patch—malfunctioned. I cannot take NSAIDS. Medical cannabis provides the only safe and quickly effective treatment for chronic nerve and arthritic pain. It also addresses my anxiety and depression. I am not alone. So many are being helped. What the government should do is support unbiased research into marijuana’s use in medicine.
Based on this emphatic embrace of the party-line rhetoric, can we believe that Alex Azar completed medical school in the 6 weeks he has been head of HHS? If not, he needs to shut up and let the professionals speak. His previous position was LAWYER for a big PHARMA company. Is it any surprise he would rather line the pockets of his previous employers and help get millions of Americans addicted to the next round of 'safe, addictive-free' drugs taxpayers should finance? There is overwhelming scientific evidence of the medicinal value of marijuana. This administration has a problem with it because they are hypocritical Christians who believe 'pot' is a sinful vice and who wouldn't know a scientific fact if it smacked them upside the head. Go back to law and leave the HEALTH of Americans to the experts.
So Mr Azar is a lawyer, not a doctor, is a science denier and was a big pharma exec. He has done nothing to mitigate the US opioid crisis but is comfortable shucking out his uninformed opinion on medical cannabis. Sit down sir, Your big pharma is showing.
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine. This site indicates that research has been promising and using dispensaries to control its distribution have been shown to be effective. We should stop relying on the ‘feelings’ of old men, and get back to reality.
Please stop this idiot, opioids are clearly not helping
Not true. It was used medicinally before there was a secretary of health, FDA and USA.
If marijuana has no medical value then the US needs to relinquish their patent on it. This clown holding the Heath Secretary position is drinking the same Kool-Aid as Sessions. Need to see how much Big pharmacy has their Financial hooks in these two. We all know Sessions has investments in private prisons and jailing pot smokers is big business for him. The US government has lied about marijuana since the 1930’s and continue to lie now about its medical value to its citizens. If it helps or cures Big Pharmacy is out of business.
This so-called Health secretary, Alex Azar is not even a Doctor of health or medicine. He likely does not understand how to apply medicine to address health concerns. This guy is a CEO of a large pharmaceutical whose only interest is to make a lot of money unethically for its shareholders. He has no interest in the health of America. In fact, he would seek to make America more unhealthy to sell more drugs for unethical greedy profits.
Gimme a break. Alcohol kills so many people. And, the people who are un-informed say that marijuana is evil. 🤷🏽♂️
Mr. Azar, just because you don't want something to be true doesn't mean the rules of the universe will instantaneously bend to your will and make it false. Marijuana has multiple safe medicinal uses, and you are a liar.
Why does this all sound like the same old song and dance? Back when marijuana was still legal, the timber industry ran a smear campaign against it because hemp was set to replace timber as a way to make paper. Now it’s the pharmaceutical companies which is such BS. They were the ones who got us into this mess of the opioid crisis. They pushed opiates to every doctor and patient experiencing pain. Even when they knew about the horrible side effects. They made billions getting this country addicted to opiates. Now they are set to make billions more by trying to get us out of this mess. Do you think these “alternative pain medications” are going to be free or cheap since they are responsible for the problem? Hell no! That would have to mean that these stupid pharma execs have a soul or a conscience. They have already proved to us that they don’t. You know what a great alternative medicine to opioids? Marijuana! Ask the hundreds of people who use it. Ask the cancer patients that use it for pain and nausea relief. It’s not difficult. There is a perfectly acceptable and in many cases healthy alternative growing right under your nose. Maybe if your nose wasn’t buried so deep in big pharma’s a-hole you’d be able to smell it.
Trump has hired the most inexperienced, unqualified people for some of the most important positions in our government. To say that marijuana has no medical uses is just ignorant.
Pot scares the pharmaceutical industry because it takes paying customers away from them.
Please legalize recreational and medical cannabis on a national level. It is much safer and more effective than opioids and has countless medical benefits, including anxiety and pain relief. It should not be classified as a Schedule 1 drug for these reasons as well. #legalizeit!
Medical Marijuana doesn’t exist to this guy because he’s not making money off of it. Groups are making a boatload from the opioid mega-pharm companies that are (surprise surprise) causing the addictions and overdose deaths plaguing our nation. It’s all about what produces positives in their checkbooks, not about what produces positive human results. Load of garbage.
Im sure this “health secretary” is just fine with what big pharma is doing in and to our country..