While most of America is still struggling to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, a handful of large pharmaceutical companies are already generating a substantial amount of revenue from prescription drugs based on cannabis medicine. 

In the eyes of the weed purist, this is bad because many believe Big Pharma’s financial influence on political action committees is one of the main reasons why the government has not yet repealed marijuana prohibition. Some believe there is simply too much money being made from doctors prescribing synthetic marijuana for these fat-cat corporations to just throw in the towel and allow our ailing nation to simply consume a plant. After all, the real thing is the best medicine, and we do not need pharmaceutical companies to get our hands on it.

Nevertheless, some of the largest drug companies in the world, like GW Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie and Valeant Pharmaceuticals, have developed prescription drugs, consisting of marijuana compounds, that are currently being prescribed to patients all over the planet for various diseases from multiple sclerosis to cancer…yet, marijuana remains, for the most part, illegal.

One of the most highly publicized drugs is GW Pharmaceuticals’ Sativex, which is comprised of the two main active compounds found in marijuana: THC and cannabidiol. It has currently been approved in 25 countries, but not yet in the United States -- but the controllers are working it. The FDA recently approved GW to begin clinical trials, which could result in the drug being marketed in the US as the latest cancer treatment.

Others that have been on the market for sometime, and have already received FDA approval, are Marinol and Cesamet, which are used to help relieve nausea and loss of appetite in those suffering from cancer and AIDS. These pills are nothing more than synthetic THC, which is interesting considering marijuana, whose main ingredient is THC, has been classified a Schedule I dangerous substance with no medicinal value by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

All of these approved medications range in cost from hundreds of dollars per month to tens of thousands per year.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.