As more U.S. states legalize marijuana, special interest groups that have a financial stake in the fight have been pushing back under the guise of fighting drug abuse.
Last week, The Nation published an interesting look at who’s driving the fight against the legalization of marijuana.
Pharmaceutical companies that make billions off painkillers and police unions are two big heavy hitters in the fight against marijuana legalization. They throw their monetary support behind groups that fight legislation that would legalize pot — even medical marijuana — and lobby Congress.
From The Nation:
It’s more than a little odd that [the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America] and the other groups leading the fight against relaxing marijuana laws, including the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America), derive a significant portion of their budget from opioid manufacturers and other pharmaceutical companies. According to critics, this funding has shaped the organization’s policy goals: CADCA takes a softer approach toward prescription-drug abuse, limiting its advocacy to a call for more educational programs, and has failed to join the efforts to change prescription guidelines in order to curb abuse. In contrast, CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids have adopted a hard-line approach to marijuana, opposing even limited legalization and supporting increased police powers.