Many research polls are revealing that Americans favor the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use. But VICE News found that in the shadows lie a group of mainstream academics that are misinforming lawmakers that loosening laws on marijuana is too dangerous.
There appears to be a major conflict of interest because it was found that many researchers that have advocated against marijuana legalization are also on the payroll of some major pharmaceutical companies, and when these researchers are quoted in the media, their ties with Big Pharma are not declared.
Take for instance Dr. A. Eden Evins, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She regularly criticizes marijuana legalization efforts on leading media outlets and is on the board of the anti-marijuana advocacy group, Project SAM. Last year she told the Times: “When people can go to a ‘clinic’ or ‘cafe’ and buy pot, that creates the perception that it’s safe.”
Meanwhile, Evins participation with the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry led to her disclosing her financial relationships, which revealed that as of November 2012, she was a “consultant for Pfizer and DLA Piper and has received grant/research support from Envivo, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.”
Although laws in the US are shifting towards marijuana legalization, there are reputable-appearing academics that are continually misinforming the general public and lawmakers about marijuana – while promoting toxic, addictive, and deadly pharmaceutical drugs – and they need to be exposed to the public and to lawmakers.