Health Committee Leader Who is “Skeptical of Medical Marijuana” Has Ties to Pain Killer Lobby

Photo credit: By Original uncropped image from Laurie Avocado (Cropped version of [1]) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, the House Health and Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on legalizing medical marijuana, and at that hearing, the Health Committee leader, Matt Baker, came out against medical marijuana.  The PLS Reporter wrote:

Seeming to follow the concerns of law enforcement, both Chairman Matt Baker (R-Tioga) of the Health Committee and Chairman Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) of the Judiciary Committee told reporters that any legislation coming out of the House legalizing medical marijuana will have strict controls—even greater than those contained in the Senate’s current version of the legislation.

“Controlled, narrower, and totally regulated,” Rep. Marsico said of any potential House-passed bill.

Nevertheless, today’s hearing did not convince Rep. Baker that legalizing medical marijuana is the right thing to do.

“I am very cynical and skeptical about moving forward with this,” he said. “I think there are a lot of unresolved issues and when you talk with the scientific groups and the medical community, they are very concerned about us putting on white coats and trying to play doctor here and calling something medicine when it’s not been conclusively proven safe or effective.”

After looking into Matthew Baker’s campaign finance reports on the Influence Explorer database, Baker has received $22,800 from the Pharmaceutical Industry and some of those campaign contributors include Astra Zeneca, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and Pfizer.

Last year, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, who lobby for pain killers, issued a press release claiming that medical marijuana is ineffective when it comes to treating chronic pain, which is one of the key issues medical marijuana advocates are pushing for in Pennsylvania.  In that news release, the ASA wrote:

“The surprising result of our study was the absence of any kind of analgesic activity of THC-standardized cannabis extract on experimentally induced pain using well-established human model procedures,” study author Dr. Birgit Kraft said in a prepared statement. “Our results also seem to support the impression that high doses of cannabinoids may even cause increased sensitivity in certain pain conditions.”

The study is published in the July issue of the journal Anesthesiology.

Previous research has suggested that cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC — the main psychoactive component of marijuana) may help ease chronic pain in cancer patients, spinal cord injury patients, and people with multiple sclerosis. There have been inconsistent findings about the effects on acute pain.

This new study’s findings about oral cannabis and acute pain are seemingly conclusive, according to the researchers.

Last September, Lee Fang reported that Pfizer has become a major player in the pain killer industry.  He stated that “Pfizer has moved aggressively into the $7.3 billion painkiller market. In 2011, the company acquired King Pharmaceuticals (the makers of several opioid products) and is currently working to introduce Remoxy, an OxyContin competitor.”

 

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About Sean Kitchen 594 Articles
Assistant Editor of the Raging Chicken Press and living in Harrisburg pursuing journalistic opportunities. You can send tips to SeanKitchen@RagingChickenPress.org and reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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3 Comments on Health Committee Leader Who is “Skeptical of Medical Marijuana” Has Ties to Pain Killer Lobby

  1. Probabilities are this has no influence on his vote what do you think this is like hiring a wolf to guard your sheep Probabilities are he is not hungry WAKE THE F^%K UP SHEEP

  2. I am a chronic severe pain sufferer of about six years now. I’m here to tell you cans is is an effective treatment for pain. I highly doubt I could totally abandon my current medications but if I had legal consistent access to medical Marajuana I could greatly reduce the amount of pain medication I need to take to control my pain. I urge these politicians to put your campaign contributions aside and think of the people who are suffering and could benefit from a simple plant. The medications used to treat chronic pain are highly toxic and nasty chemicals. A life like mine is no walk in the park but medical Marajuana could make that walk that much easier

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Anti-Weed Health Head Got Funding from Big Pharma | Dabs Magazine
  2. Will One Man Kill Medical Marijuana, Despite 88% of PA’s People? | Steve Todd – Passionate about things that matter.
  3. Republican Lawmaker Considered Suing Me For Slander and Libel Over Medical Marijuana Story | Raging Chicken Press

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