Philadelphia District Attorney Sues Big Pharma For Opioid Crisis

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.

Former Head of the NRA Calls Demands Gun Reform for Medical Marijuana Patients


Whether its restrictions on their banking activities, ability to travel, medical care, or education, medical marijuana patients still have freedom to fight for in America — including their inability to legally own a gun.

Last week, the former head of the National Rifle Association (NRA) came out in defense of medical marijuana users in an opinion piece for The Washington Times, pleading with the federal government that “trading a constitutional right for pain relief is a choice no one should have to make.”

“Since gun purchasers must sign a form swearing they are not habitual drug users,” said David Keene, who is now an editor at large for the news outlet, “a holder of a marijuana prescription cannot both answer the question honestly and buy a firearm today from a gun dealer anywhere in the country.

This restriction on gun ownership can be traced back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), who classify those with medical marijuana recommendations as “admitted drug users” who are banned from buying, possessing, or utilizing a gun. Medical marijuana users who own guns live in a constant state of uncertainty as they grapple with state and federal law discrepancies.

In 2016, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which governs many legalized marijuana states on the western side of the country, ruled that the federal laws restricting medical marijuana users from legally obtaining firearms do not conflict with the 2nd Amendment, meaning patients are not having their rights violated by the prohibition. The court’s reasoning behind the ruling was cannabis has been known to cause “irrational or unpredictable behavior.”

According to federal law, a “user and/or an addict of any controlled substance” is prohibited from obtaining a firearm, yet the law ignores countless people toting guns while addicted to opioid painkillers because they are shielded by verbiage, namely a “prescription,” rather than the “recommendation” doctors are limited to when a patient’s care calls for marijuana.

If you’re wondering where the federal government was able to establish a precedent as far as cannabis causing violent behavior, the 9th Circuit Court credits a 2014 case from the 4th Circuit Court in Virginia that suggests “a significant link between drug use, including marijuana use, and violence.”

Estimates place the number of doctor recommendation-holding medical marijuana users at roughly 2.3 million in legal states from Connecticut to California, though the numbers are fairly conservative considering the hit-or-miss registration and reporting from state to state — another reason we need federally-regulated cannabis. That’s at least 2 million Americans who are barred from taking advantage of their 2nd Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

The book Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know, written by drug policy experts Mark Kleiman, Angela Hawken, and Jonathan Caulkins, outlines how mainstream drugs used by millions of Americans are actually far more harmful to the psyche of a gun owner than cannabis.

“There is a good deal of evidence showing an association between alcohol intoxication and pharmacologically induced violent crime,” the book explains.

Keene calls out the DEA in his op-ed, pointing out that cannabis has been grossly miscategorized on the Controlled Substances Act scheduling system for almost five decades, situated on the same top tier class as heroin, referred to as more dangerous than drugs like cocaine and fentanyl that cause countless overdoses.

The former NRA leader also points out the confusion this legal gray area causes for law enforcement.

State law enforcement officials are in a quandary as to which laws to enforce and as a result no one knows what to expect. In Oregon, a sheriff denied several concealed carry applications because he believed possession of a medical marijuana card was an admission of illegal drug use, while an Arizona gun owner who asked the Phoenix police if she had a problem because she has a medical marijuana prescription was told she was fine as long as she doesn’t run into a “federal” officer or get caught on federal land with both a gun and a prescription card.

While many gun owners who also utilize the medical benefits of cannabis are currently left confused as to which laws to abide by, this dilemma further highlights the need for the federal government to get on the same page as the states, especially when there is such a vast gap in policy.