Larry Krasner has been in office as Philadelphia District Attorney for a little over a month. He has initiated some important changes in that short time. His most recent moves are aimed at fixing some longstanding drug-related issues. Most importantly, he is suing several pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis. As the Philadelphia District Attorney sues Big Pharma, momentum could be building to combat the epidemic.
Larry Krasner Is Suing Big Pharma
Krasner announced his decision to sue Big Pharma yesterday in a press release. In it, he said that he filed a lawsuit against 10 pharmaceutical companies on February 2. More specifically, those companies are:
- Purdue Pharma, L.P.
- Purdue Pharma, Inc.
- The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc.
- Allergan Finance, LLC
- Cephalon, Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
- Endo Helath Solutions, Inc.
- Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
Krasner cited the Consumer Protection Law in his suit. That law allows either the Pennsylvania Attorney General or a Pennsylvania County District Attorney to sue companies on behalf of the state.
In particular, Krasner is suing to recoup some of the costs the City of Philadelphia has incurred dealing with opioid addictions and deaths. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the companies being sued have been deceitful about the dangers of their products.
“The City of Philadelphia has been hurt, more than any other city in the nation, by the scourge of opioids,” Krasner said in the press release.
“The time to act is now, which is why I’ve taken this unprecedented action, in parallel with the City of Philadelphia’s suit, to stop these companies from systematically distracting the public from knowing the true dangers of opioid use as they reap billions of dollars in profits.”
Krasner’s lawsuit isn’t actually the first time someone has sued pharmaceutical companies that make opioids. In fact, there are 16 other lawsuits throughout Pennsylvania. However, Krasner’s suit is unique because it’s the only one filed under the Consumer Protection Law.
Krasner and Marijuana
At the same time that he’s going after Big Pharma, Krasner is also tackling cannabis. He just reformed Philadelphia’s weed policies.
More specifically, Krasner made it so that people caught with weed in Philadelphia will not ever see a court case. The change is a minor one. But it could still have a big impact.
Already, cannabis enforcement is fairly loose in Philadelphia. Krasner said that around 90 percent of the time cops find someone with weed they just write a simple citation. But there’s still that 10 percent when that doesn’t happen.
“What we’re talking about is the 10 percent or so that are being charged as they used to be, as misdemeanors in court,” Krasner said. “From now on, the DA will advise his staff not to pursue criminal charges against anyone arrested for marijuana possession in the city.”
Citations for possession will be anywhere from $25 to $100.
Final Hit: Philadelphia District Attorney Sues Big Pharma
Clearly, Krasner is diving into his new role as Philly’s DA. And he’s already making headlines for his aggressive attempts to fix pressing drug-related issues.
By targeting Big Pharma and relaxing weed laws, Krasner is in direct opposition to more conservative, anti-cannabis politicians. Most notably, people like U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Earlier this month, Sessions attempted to blame the opioid crisis on cannabis. Unfortunately for him, research does not support his claims.
In fact, researchers have found that cannabis can help combat the opioid epidemic. More specifically, cannabis can be a safer alternative for treating pain. Additionally, it can help people already addicted to opioids gradually scale back their dependence.