Nathan Deal effectively killed HB1 recently when he told the bill sponsor Allen Peake in a back room meeting he was opposed to in-state growing. An excellent article that explains why HB1 is now dead can be found here. But Deal is not in this alone in his quest to delay and neuter medical cannabis legislation. He has some allies also benefiting from the largesses of Big Pharma political contributions.
State Senators Renee Unterman, R-Gwinnett, and state Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Cobb County. Both women are nurses and should know better than to oppose medical cannabis and have offered no cogent defense to support their intransigence. They have done their best to neuter and slow down the progress to the point that it is effectively dead. The following report was done by Lori Geary from Channel 2 News in Atlanta.
Both Cooper and Unterman deny the allegations that the donations from Big Pharma influenced their stubbornness to push forward with realistic and workable medical cannabis legislation in Georgia anytime soon. Both women chair the Health and Human Services Committee in the Georgia Senate and House. Both women pushed for more clinical trials involving a drug called Epidiolex. Its manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, recently partnered with Novartis on its medical marijuana drug. Big pharmaceuticals gave more than $60,000 to Cooper over the past decade, Novartis was among them. Over eight years, Unterman brought in $33,000 from drug companies including Novartis.
Every day 1,500 Americans die every day from cancer. A cancer research scientists said “It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer. For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death. Cancer patients can’t wait. Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.” These people cannot wait months or years for help. In fact, they can’t wait even a day longer and it is reprehensible that after nearly 20 years since it was first passed in California people like Cooper, Unterman, and Deal are still making excuses.
Medical Cannabis works and we have proof from this country and many others that it can offer more efficacious relief than any prescription medication on the market for many illnesses. No one is claiming it is a miracle cure. But it is disingenuous to apply unreasonably high standards toward legalization while allowing alcohol and tobacco to be legally sold when we know how many illnesses and death are caused by those two substances.
Both Unterman and Cooper are nurses and should know better. I am not sure how Nathan Deal and his allies in the fight against allowing sick people some small measure of relief can sleep at night. Notice how they never give any actual reasons to justify all these delays or more trials. The only possible reason for pushing for delays and more obstacles is to complete clinical trials for a pill and get possible FDA approval while sick people continue to suffer and die every day. There is also a very good article explaining the ties that bind Deal, Unterman, and Cooper with Big Pharma here.
It is truly sickening and repugnant that these elected officials use every excuse in the book to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt to stall until GW Pharma can complete their Epidolex trials when all people need is the plant. Once you start synthesizing and changing what mother nature invented is exactly when you start to have all those nasty side effects. We have thousands of years of research proving that cannabis can have therapeutic effects and unlike prescription drugs already approved by the FDA no evidence of any morbidity from cannabis. How many prescription medications can claim no deaths?
It really is unconscionable that people like Nathan Deal, Sharon Cooper, and Renee Unterman decided to get in bed with other allies against legalizing medical cannabis that include drug cartel and dealers, billionaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson, and drug companies more concerned with their stock price than the 1,500 Americans dying each day from cancer.
Another ally in the fight against legalization are some police agencies since they are worried they would have fewer civil asset forfeitures from drug raids to buy all their fancy military surplus gear. Now that Attorney General Eric Holder put a stop to that they might now be less inclined to oppose legalization although they will continue to use state laws to legally rob many innocent people of money and property.
Do not be fooled, this has absolutely nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the almighty dollar.
Make sure and let Nathan Deal, Renee Unterman, and Sharon Cooper know that sick people in Georgia can’t and shouldn’t wait even one more day or listen to one more bullshit excuse why they can’t get their act together to quickly pass a sensible medical cannabis bill like the ones proposed by Curt Thompson in the Senate known as SB6 and SB7. Also let them know you are aware of their close ties and contributions from GW Pharma.