CannaTalk – Corporate Greed & the Genetic Modification of Cannabis
Article By Clyde Lewis – CannaTalk Video Narrated By Andy Martinez
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There is a major threat to the cannabis industry, especially to growers and consumers, and that of course is a conspiracy to create “Big Cannabis,” which will then be hijacked by … “Big Pharma.”
It’s hard to have a discussion about cannabis policy that doesn’t become a discussion about the big rumors about “Big Cannabis.”
Any discussion regarding this controversial healing plant is tossed about so freely and flippantly that it has come to be a catch-all moniker with no consistent meaning, except inasmuch as it is consistently a pejorative.
The reason is simple: anything Big Pharma touches becomes a for profit boondoggle where the cannabis industry could fall under the control of a few macro-corporations that create substantial social costs while hiding critical information from the public and manipulating and deceiving regulators.
There are several reasons to hate these Big Pharma maneuvers as we have seen what Big Tobacco does with their consumers.
Just thinking about the move conjures up images of greedy corporations capitalizing on heavy users, luring minors to use it, and generally developing products that ride roughshod on the public interest that put profits before public health.
Pharmaceutical companies compartmentalizing cannabis will bulldoze over the work of small operators and, with them, the social ideals of the marijuana counterculture.
No one wants the cannabis industry to do to consumers what the tobacco industry perpetrated during much of the 20th century. Especially when pure tobacco products were tainted by Big Tobacco with some 600 ingredients that are used in American cigarettes.
The complete list of chemicals added to your cigarettes is too long to list. Here are some examples that will surprise you:
• Fungicides and pesticides — Cause many types of cancers and birth defects.
• Cadmium — Linked to lung and prostate cancer.
• Benzene — Linked to leukemia.
• Formaldehyde — Linked to lung cancer.
• Nickel — Causes increased susceptibility to lung infections.
If you are angry that so many things have been added to the cigarettes you enjoy so much, you should be. Many of these chemicals were added to make you better able to tolerate toxic amounts of cigarette smoke. They were added without regard to your health and with the intent to keep you addicted. As the tobacco industry saying goes, “An addicted customer is a customer for life, no matter how short that life is.”
If Big Pharma gets its hands on cannabis, we may see the same thing happen and this is worrisome.
Monsanto now appears to be developing genetically modified (GMO) forms of cannabis, with the intent of cornering the market with patented GMO seeds just as it did with GMO corn and GMO soybeans. For that, the plant would need to be legalized but still tightly enough controlled that it could be captured by big corporate interests. Competition could be suppressed by limiting access to homegrown marijuana; bringing production, sale and use within monitored and regulated industry guidelines; and legislating a definition of industrial hemp as a plant having such low psychoactivity that only GMO versions qualify.
Those are the sorts of conditions that critics have found buried in the fine print of the latest initiatives for cannabis legalization.
Patients who use the cannabis plant in large quantities to heal serious diseases find that the natural plant grown organically in sunlight is far more effective than hothouse plants or pharmaceutical cannabis derivatives.
Monsanto has denied that it is working on GMO strains of cannabis, however, William Engdahl, author of “Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation,” presents compelling circumstantial evidence to the contrary.
In a March 2014 related article titled “The Connection Between the Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay, Monsanto and George Soros”, Engdahl observes that in 2014, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Soros is a major player in Uruguay and was instrumental in getting the law passed. He sits on the board of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for cannabis legalization. The DPA is active not only in the US but in Uruguay and other Latin American countries. Engdahl writes:
“Studies show that Monsanto without much fanfare conducts research projects on the active ingredient in marijuana, namely THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in order to genetically manipulate the plant. David Watson of the Dutch company, Hortapharm, has since 1990 created the world’s largest collection of Cannabis seed varieties. In 1998, the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement with Hortapharm that gives GW Pharma the rights to use the Hortapharm cannabis for their research.”
Since the start of state legalization, nearly every outside industry with conceivable cannabis play; tobacco of course, but also food and beverage, clothing, health and wellness, tourism, and Silicon Valley venture capital, has been scrambling to bring the cannabis sector out of the margins and into the mainstream.
More to the point, as the cannabis community itself has matured, it has been moving incrementally toward a business model that, if one didn’t know better, looks surprisingly corporate.
Someday, cannabis users will look back at the good old days and ask themselves why they even allowed the market to create a Frankenweed corporate monster.
Watch this informative presentation …
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