Dr. Sanjay Gupta has announced that he has changed his mind regarding medical marijuana. After years of being against medical marijuana, he is now for it. However; some people do not like this idea. According to a USA Today article, “Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse,” isn’t thrilled about this. She believes that legalizing another drug would be harmful to society, because “If you look at the data, the costs associated with drugs in our country, which are gigantic, are driven mostly by legal drugs because they’re so accessible.”
I think she’s a little off base. The costs of drugs in this country are “gigantic” to use her word, but it isn’t because “they’re so accessible”. Now, I don’t know Nora Volkow, but totally based on her statement, I’m thinking she didn’t pay attention in economic classes. More accessibility means less cost, not more. Drug costs are up because of the drug manufacturers, not because of their accessibility.
Manufacturing and development of new drugs and patent protection laws are two of the major factors that influence drug spending. Drug manufacturers increase drugs costs to try to recoup the often significant outlays in research and development costs for drugs that make it to the market as well as those that do not enter the marketplace.
Kaiser Family Foundation
Prescription Drug Costs
With no offense to Dr. Volkow, she is coming at this idea from the side of drug addiction. She’s worried about the next person who becomes addicted. I understand that, but the idea of medical marijuana isn’t to cure an addiction. There are serious medical conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana and I believe that this outweighs any harmful affect there might be in society.