Insys Therapeutics Inc. made a $500,000 donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy on August 31, according to information posted online by the Arizona secretary of state.
The group opposes Prop. 205, which appears on the ballot in November to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults over 21.
In a statement, Insys said it opposes Prop. 205 “because it fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.”
But those safety-minded claims may come under scrutiny as the company pushes its own narcotics.
Insys currently sells just one product — Subsys, a fast-acting painkiller for cancer patients that is sprayed under the tongue. It contains Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50-times more potent than heroin.
The company is under investigation in four states, including Arizona, for paying kickbacks to doctors who prescribed Subsys and marketing it for non-FDA approved purposes.
Insys is also deeply involved in the medical marijuana industry, with two cannabidiol drugs. The FDA recently approved Syndros, a liquid marijuana drink that contains a synthetic version of THC. It is used for for the treatment of cancer symptoms like nausea and loss of appetite.
Marijuana advocates say the raw plant is just as effective and does not cause overdose deaths. They also say legal access to cannabis could help fight the growing epidemic of opioid addiction and deaths.
Although 25 states currently allow residents to use medical marijuana, it remains a Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical uses under federal law.
Source: US News