If things weren’t already messed up enough in the legalized cannabis industry in the United States, the latest news from the White House made matters worse. It has made advocates of the drug fall into despair. There is a great probability that the next drug czar will be someone who is not on the side of the MMJ advocates.
Tom Marino, Representative from Pennsylvania, is highly expected to be the next Director of ONDCP—Office of National Drug Control Policy. This is a call for more trouble for the supporters of cannabis as Marino is yet another advocate of Pharma. His anti-marijuana reputation is of huge concern for the cannabis industry which is yet to find stable ground in the US.
It is also ironic how neighboring Canada is already on the verge of complete legalization of marijuana with proper regulations in place while the US cannabis industry is still struggling.
Another troubling aspect of Marino being in the driving seat is that not only is he an anti-marijuana extremist, but also that his ties with the pharmaceutical industry are quite firm. Many people have raised a question on his ability to manage his position being neutral towards all drugs. In addition to that, since Marino is pro-pharma, it is quite confusing as to how he would deal with drugs like heroin and Opioid. These are the drugs that have caused havoc in the streets of the US, and both of them are a creation of Big Pharma.
To make matters more perplexing in this regard, International Business Times released statistics about the areas Marino makes most of his money from. Ironically, the pharmaceutical industry tops that list. The Pharmaceutical industry, as of the moment, is enjoying the production and distribution of lethal drugs. Unfortunately, with the man the White House is likely to choose as the ONDCP’s Director, things are likely to continue to move downhill.
Dr. Andrew Kolodny is a co-director at the Opioid Policy Research—Brandeis University. According to him,
“In the midst of a public health crisis [Trump] is putting at the helm of the ONDCP someone who has worked for the opioid lobby against efforts to bring the epidemic under control.”
It is quite saddening to say that this won’t be the first time the Trump administration has sent an unreliable person to the front. The picks from Trump’s cabinet seem to be come out with one and only one aim—the destruction of the posts they are being handed.
Things with Marino do not seem any better. What can you expect from a guy who has shamelessly helped the pharmaceutical companies with the production of catastrophic drugs like opioid? To remove any remaining bits of doubt about Marino’s incompetence in handling the position, he has stood on the opposing end of almost every single initiative made in the favor of medical marijuana.
It is as if the legacy of Harry J. Anslinger is being carried on by Tom Marino: both of them have personal issues with cannabis. The words of Alexandra Chasin describe it best,
“Anslinger was a profligate propagandist with a flair for demonizing racial and immigrant groups and perhaps best known for his zealous pursuit of harsh drug penalties and his particular animus for marijuana users,”
This is exactly what we can expect from the potential new Director of ONDCP.