The campaign in support of Prop. 205 in Arizona has unveiled a new billboard in downtown Phoenix that calls out the opposition campaign for running a "Reefer Madness" campaign "paid for with profits from opioid sales."
The ad refers to the "downright false" TV ads that are being run by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a committee formed to oppose Prop. 205 that received a massive contribution from Insys Therapeutics, a local pharmaceutical company.
The Yes on 205 campaign also set the record straight in its first pair of TV ads, which recently began airing statewide. You can watch the latest ad below, or click here to view all of the ads that have been run thus far by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
While there is a long history of opposition to sensible marijuana policy reform from some big pharmaceutical companies, September saw the biggest financial donation from such a company against a legalization ballot initiative to date, and their motives couldn't be more blatant.
According to campaign finance reports, the committee formed to oppose Prop. 205, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, received a $500,000 contribution on August 31 from Insys Therapeutics, Inc. According to a CNBC investigative piece about the Chandler-based company — titled “The pain killer: A drug company putting profits above patients” — Insys Therapeutic’s revenue is “almost entirely derived from the highly addictive opiate fentanyl,” which experts call “the most potent and dangerous opioid on the market.” Insys’s aggressive marketing and other shady business practices have triggered multiple state and federal investigations, including one conducted by the Arizona Attorney General.
The front page of Insys’s website also touts its development of “pharmaceutical cannabinoids,” which are synthetic versions of natural chemical compounds found in marijuana.
A number of major media outlets reported on the clear intent to protect profits at the expense of public health and individual freedom, but neither Insys, nor the campaign dedicated to arresting adults for using something that is safer than alcohol, have shown any sign of remorse.