John Stewart used to run the pharmaceutical company behind the narcotic painkiller OxyContin. Now he is banking on medical marijuana.
Mr Stewart does not know which is more controversial these days, OxyContin or pot.
He guesses the average person would give “a bigger negative” to the powerful and controversial painkiller that has been linked to the opioid overdose and addiction epidemic in the US and Canada.
“There is a lot of anti-opioid sentiment,” he says, delicately. “And certainly based on the social disruption that we’ve seen it’s understandable.”
In the US, an estimated 1.9 million Americans were addicted to prescription opioid painkillers in 2014. Accidental overdoses from prescription painkillers quadrupled between 1999 and 2012. In 2014, drug overdoses were the leading accidental cause of death south of the border, driven by prescription opioids. [Read more at BBC]