Before US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar began working for Trump…he worked for Big Pharma.
From 2012-2017, Azar was the president of Eli Lily and Company, a large pharmaceutical corporation. He also served on the board of directors for pharmaceutical lobby, Biotechnology Innovation Organization during this time.
Before this, he worked for the Bush administration. Azar served as US Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush from 2005-2007.
With a resume that leaves us a bit wary, it comes as little surprise that Azar wanted to make it explicitly clear that medical marijuana is considered illegal whenhe recently spoke at a press conference.
Azar Denies Medical Marijuana at Opioid Awareness Press Conference
A press conference was held last week at Bridge’s Path. This inpatient facility located in Kettering, Ohio treats newborns diagnosed with prenatal opioid exposure. And with an opioid epidemic that has ravaged the nation, prenatal opioid exposure is on the rise.
During the press conference, Azar was asked about the viability of medical marijuana as an alternative for opioid painkillers.
“There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant,” Azar said. “I just want to be very clear on that.”
One thing he was clear about was how much money the government plans to spend to clean up the opioid epidemic.
Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Exist…Feds Plan to Spend “Hundreds and Hundreds of Millions of Dollars” on New Opioid Alternatives Instead
“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,” Azar said.
He then described how “over $750 million just in 2019 alone is going to be dedicated towards the National Institutes on Health working in public-private partnership to try and develop the next generation of pain therapies that are not opioids.”
With strong ties to Eli Lilly (remember, he was president), it’s likely that they will be a major player in the “public-private” partnerships the government seeks to establish.
In an administration that continues to push their archaic mindset, it’s clear that they’re not exactly interested in what’s beneficial for the people, as much as they are what benefits their pocketbooks.
Legal cannabis is, after all, a HUGE financial threat to the pharmaceutical companies and government officials who rake in millions in profit each year.