Justin Bieber the Marijuana Activist?

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There are many judgements that stain pop icon Justin Bieber’s reputation.  The media has heavily criticized his past behavior while others have argued that it’s all a symptom of being raised famous from a young age.

Regardless of those general stereotypes, as of late, the Biebs’ has been using his massive global fame for a tremendous cause — bringing attention to the significant lobbying that pharmaceutical companies are reportedly doing in an effort to stop the legalization of marijuana.

On October 2nd, Bieber tweeted a link to a video which appears on the Facebook page of the issue-driven media company ATTN:.  This video calls out the many pharmaceutical companies who have lobbied the U.S. government in an attempt to slow or stop marijuana legalization.  The general consensus on their motive is that a natural medicine like marijuana poses a direct threat to Big Pharma’s bottom line.

And here is something that I never thought would be said in my entire journalistic career, Justin Bieber is correct.

It was reported last month that producers of the powerful painkiller Fentanyl donated $500,000 to a campaign designed to keep marijuana illegal in Arizona.  Fentanyl was recently under heavy scrutiny in the media as the confirmed substance that ended the life of music legend Prince.

Purdue Pharma is a manufacturer of Oxycontin, which is a highly addictive substance used for pain management. Purdue sponsored the annual convention for the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) back in 2014. CADCA is one of the largest organizations in the country, against the legalization of pot.

Purdue is not the only sponsor of CADCA. Drugmaker Alkermes, responsible for the controversial but nevertheless FDA approved Zohydro, also pays to keep CADCAs lights on.  Janssen Pharmaceutical and Pfizer are included in that organization’s anti-pot camp as well.

Even in Bieber’s home country of Canada, Big Pharma is looking to get involved in the marijuana initiative. Their attempts, in this case, are exclusive distribution in the upcoming cannabis legalization plan. Canada’s biggest pharmaceutical retailer, Shoppers Drug Mart, has been one of the most vocal parties to win the right to sell the nation’s legal marijuana next year.

Even though big pharma doesn’t want to compete with legal marijuana, no matter how much money they commit to anti-pot legislation, it pales in comparison to the power of the liberal media and vast entertainment industry — two groups embracing cannabis for the natural wonder that it is.

Thank you Justin Bieber, keep up the good work.

(Debby Wong/Shutterstock)

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

3 Comments

  1. Oliver Steinberg on

    Politics makes strange bedfellows, according to the proverb. But I can’t help but think that the cause of cannabis liberation might do better without “friends” like Justin Bieber. There’s been a parade of media-celebrated personalities through the past decades, products of mass culture’s mindless entertainment machinery, who have at some point taken up cannabis, but not content to stick with weed, have also indulged the tempting opportunities available to them to engage in various kinds of self-destructive or abusive and degenerate behaviors, culminating in a predictable denouement of arrests, “rehab” stints, renunciation, relapse, etc. etc. Those who are fighting for reform, on behalf of the real-life victims of prohibition, would be wise to look for more credible leaders and spokespersons. If we escape having Trump get elected dictator, I hope there will be a backlash against the influence and involvement of such caricatures in the future. And if Trump does prevail, it will bear out the ancient Greek proverb: “Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.”

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