DEA Approves Synthetic THC Drug

The Drug Enforcement Administration has just recently approved Syndros, a cannabis based medication developed by Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company. Syndros is a synthetic formulation of THC. It is used to treat nausea and vomiting, two of the most common symptoms of chemotherapy. The drug was pre-approved by the FDA last summer as a treatment for nausea, vomiting, and weightloss in cancer and AIDS patients. The DEA approval places Syndros and its generic formulations in Schedule II of the Controlled Substance Act, indicating a “high potential for abuse”. Other Schedule II drugs include cocaine, morphine, and many prescription painkillers. Insys donated $500,000 last September to help defeat Arizona’s cannabis legalization campaign. Yet now the company has received DEA approval for its own cannabis based drug. During the campaign, the company claimed to oppose the legalization measure because it would fail to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens and children. Now, non-medical cannabis users in Arizona must still face felony charges for possessing even small amounts of the plant. While Insys may insist that safety is their biggest concern, their aggressive marketing strategies for Subsys, a medication containing fentanyl, a dangerously powerful and addictive opiate that can be 50-100 times more powerful than Morphine, say otherwise.

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