Marijuana Prohibition Tea Leaves Du Jour

I don’t think it hyperbolic to observe that the prohibition of marijuana appears to be in serious question as a public policy in the United States these days.
Consider for just a moment the major changes promised by the Obama administration to end the federal law enforcement raids in states with legal protections for medical marijuana providers and patients; the mass questioning of marijuana prohibition via the outing of 14-time gold medal winner Michael Phelps; the crushing economy that apparently is disabusing many state legislators that the costs of prohibition can no longer be sustained and lastly, the graying of the Baby Boom generation (who, in the 1960s and 1970s scoffed at their parent’s Reefer Madness).
What did today’s ‘mail’ deliver to my inbox that just makes my eyes roll:
The Associated Press ran a story entitled ‘Lawmakers Across Nation Look To Booze for Revenues: Governors and lawmakers faced with budget deficits are advocating loosening laws that restrict alcohol consumption so that the state can increase its tax base.’

— In Georgia, Connecticut, Indiana, Texas, Alabama and Minnesota, lawmakers are considering legislation this year that would end the ban on Sunday liquor sales. All but 15 states sell booze on Sundays.
— In Nebraska, a state lawmaker has proposed allowing beer to be consumed in state parks as a way to boost tourism.
— Other states, including Utah, are considering allowing the sale of liquor on Election Day.
Drinkers shouldn’t break out the bubbly just yet: Two dozen states, including California, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Virginia, are looking to help their budgets by raising alcohol taxes.
Meanwhile, some states are trying to eliminate much less onerous hassles associated with buying alcohol.
–In Colorado and Kansas, grocery stores are fighting for the right to sell full-strength beer. Most of the opposition in those states isn’t coming from morality groups, but instead from liquor stores who like having a corner on the market.
–A similar effort is occurring in Tennessee, where lawmakers are considering allowing the sale of wine in supermarkets.
–In Alabama, a proposal to raise the amount of alcohol allowed in beer from 6 percent alcohol by volume to 13.9 percent is being considered, although some church groups fear it would result in people getting drunker quicker.

Gee, I wonder where else balance budget strapped states could take in billions in unrealized taxes? Hmmm…
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DEA has 106 planes, so why did it charter private jet for chief?
McClatchy Newspapers reports that, in these belt-tightening times, especially for the federal government, that 1) the DEA has 106 airplanes that cost the taxpayers $76 million annually and 2) Even with this mini-Air Force, the DEA’s Acting Administrator Michelle Leonhart still chartered a private jet for over $128,000?
Ugh!
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Laguna Woods’ retirees still await medical pot dispensary —
Responding to some residents’ quality-of-life pleas, the city last year agreed to let a marijuana facility set up shop. But so far no landlord has been willing to risk the wrath of Uncle Sam. LA Times
As more and more senior citizens and Baby Boomers turn to the non-toxic, safe and affordable cannabis plant as a medicine, media stories about senior citizens being denied viable access to medical cannabis in retirement communities and hospices is only going to increase in the near term as the federal government’s strict prohibition against medical cannabis continues to loose both credibility and the weight of law in the American mind.

***

State lawmakers looking to increase revenues by increasing public access to a dangerous and addictive drug (ethyl alcohol products), DEA getting long deserved public scrutiny for wasting tax dollars and senior citizens in California complain in the state’s largest paper about the need for greater retail access to medicinal cannabis…
Yep, America’s cannabis prohibition laws really are primed now more than ever for substantive reform!

0 thoughts

  1. Good read. As far as medicinal marijuana, and the DEA raids.. I read this a couple of days ago:
    “The White House said it expects those kinds of raids to end once Mr. Obama nominates someone to take charge of DEA, which is still run by Bush administration holdovers. “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind,” White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said. [Washington Times]”
    Will this allow for more medical dispensaries to be opened up now, simply because there will be no fear of raids?

  2. this government has finally really lost its mind. first they filled our heads with us all this crap about marijuana thats not true. now they want to add more alchol to an already dangerous SUBSTANCE and add more higher tax on it when we all know one year of fully legalizing canibus would cure every states tax problem guaranteed. these people in congress will do anything to stop marujuana prohibition. but me and THE GOOD PEOPLE AT NORML ( WONT STOP NOR WILL NORML AND ALL THE LISTENERS AND PEOPLE WHO CLICK THIS SITE EVERYDAY let a government destroy what norml has work so hard for

  3. “Responding to some residents’ quality-of-life pleas, the city last year agreed to let a marijuana facility set up shop. But so far no landlord has been willing to risk the wrath of Uncle Sam.”
    All the more reason to open up shop!
    As more states get on board and dispensaries are created, the closer we get to having them become a part of every day life in our nation. There’s no way the DEA could keep up with the raids if more states are on board. The funding either won’t be there or someone higher up will cut them off eventually, simply because this country cannot afford it anymore. I truly believe all this.
    Open up shop NOW so that we can show all the citizens of this country just how serious we are about medical marijuana and state’s rights! In fact, that would be more of a message to the world than any protest, march or petition could ever get hope to accomplish.

  4. Am i the only person pissed off that people can steal billones of dollars and not go to jail. but if you get caught with bag or grow your Owen cannabis you go to jail it’s not right the government needs to change laws.

  5. There is no better way to start my day then to open my homepages with my morning tea and find a new NORML article waiting patiently for me like a faithful canine with today’s mail and my slippers; so today is no exception.
    But while this is for sure a great read and I thank the NORML writing staff for their hard-hitting journalism, I can’t help but ask the following question: Where’s the stuff that we can use to bombard and stutter our politicians with?
    Where are the estimates and percentages on things like the state-by-state estimates in tax dollars waiting to be generated by legalizing cannabis?
    Where are the percentages on how many tax dollars could be saved by decriminalizing marijuana?
    How about the “prisoners” being held on marijuana related offences in state jails? How much would we save by releasing them and reducing the population of our over-crowded prisons?
    How about estimates on how many people would be able to look for well-paying jobs if their “Caught with marijuana one-time” offences were crossed out instead of having to sit at home waiting for welfare checks because no one will hire them? How much of a burden would be lifted from states then?
    Estimates on how many people who could even look for jobs without fear of being caught with marijuana in their system on mandated drug-tests? (I know of one friend who can’t even leave her hated part-time job at Hot Topic because she’s not sure if she wants to risk not being fully detoxed on another job opportunity she was offered that does drug-test but pays 3-4 times as much for less work. (Truck-call coordinator.)
    I realize that when cannabis is legalized it will be capitalized on faster then you can say “Mary Jane” and that it would be a multi-billion dollar industry over-night, generating millions upon millions in taxes for states crippled by our festering economy, but without things like those listed above we can’t even stand up and get the word out in order to even start said-multi-billion dollar industry for lack of substance and “Here’s the facts” statements for which to behead naysayers with.
    It only takes one person and one question to make us look part the fool and to have no one take us seriously afterwards.
    I’ll make you a deal NORML: Give me some substance for a few fliers and I’ll walk around my neighborhood sliding them in mailboxes in two jiggles of a jackrabbits ass. Deal?

  6. What do we expect? We keep voting for the same politicians over and over, they are going to keep making the same decisions over and over.
    Start voting, and get involved if you want to make changes. Nancy Pelosi for example. If she were to be threatened with losing a large number of supporters over her inaction to bring marijuana reform to the table, she’d have no choice but to hop to.

  7. No,legalized drug dealers do not want us dead (no profit there) they just want us sick and taking THEIR drugs…have you listened to the side effects of those LEGAL drugs? Big government and big pharma are not worried about those side effects, they’ll just prescribe another drug to counteract those side effects and if that one has side effects……well another prescription will take care of those and so on, and more money for them, it’s not about us or how we feel, it’s about how much money we are giving them, and then they pass some of those big bucks along to the gov, and everyone is happy….except US ……….Legalize Hemp now…for the people

  8. Hey, arn’t they worried about more drunk drivers on the road and kids having more access to alcohol? REEFER MADNESS AT IT’S BEST. Why can’t they have this kind of attitude towards MARIJUANA???

  9. This is great, it’s like cannabis has a snowball effect as it rolls through the generations! Momentum’s got it pointed toward the economy, and I can’t wait to see the collision… now THERE’S the product America’s been waiting for, let’s get these people back to work!

  10. Great post. I think it’s a good think to know that many States are proposing to loosen alcohol laws…
    Let the records show that it was (partially) the reason that alcohol prohibition ended was because the government needed the money… maybe marijuana will end in somewhat the same manner.
    On a side note, a good way for states to loosen alcohol laws is to allow the sale to people of the age of 18. There’s really no reason why it shouldn’t. 18-year-old’s can do just about anything else except purchase alcohol. I know this site relates to marijuana prohibition, but that’s another opinion of mine that I think should change as well. If you can vote, join the army, buy a gun, sign a contract, and even be prosecuted under the full extent of the law because of your age… you should definitely be allowed to drink.

  11. The alcohol and Drug industry has for years created a tax revenue for the Government and they feel marijuana will take a bite into the alcohol and drug companies profit . Huh ? Daa ? What ? These companies have created a cost to taxpayers by creating criminal , death , health problems , family & spousal abuse and costs to the States for alcohol and drug induced problems . Marijuana legalization would create none of these problems yet , the Government continues to deny its exsistance .

  12. Obama said he was against legalization. He’s a status quo politician. No change: the rich get richer, the poor poorer. Same old. The best way out of this economic Bushism is hemp! They don’t see it that way.

  13. So, a private medical dispensary is bad for kids if it’s built in their city, but it’s ok with to drink booze in public parks? Getting drunk around “our children”?!
    There’s something I tell people who are full of BS. I can’t post it here, but it rhymes with duck stew.

  14. While Obama is in Canada, he had best be talking about the whole cannabis legalization issue with them. America needs a jobs program, and it’s time to end the jails program, cannabis prohibition, that disenfranchises people, especially people of color. These laws are the new Jim Crow laws. Keeping running the economy into the ground until the discriminatory power elite relent.

  15. more beer, with higher alcohol content? bite your nose to spite your face! there is no legal justification for marijuana to have ever been criminalized, and yet, rather than legalizing it completely, which is constitutionally what should be done, they still try to figure out a way to control it. that’s all it’s ever been about, control. a plant that has so many uses for such a variety of textiles and commerce, food, and medicine. the only problem, if legalized there’s no sure way of extracting every last penny for the lawyers and politicians.anyone could grow it, just about anywhere. you could make your own clothes, have a multiple medical use medicine, and enjoy that great relaxing pleasure, without all the additives the tobacco companies put in tobacco so you become addicted, distill your own fuel, improve the quality of the air you breathe because 1 acre of marijuana does the job of 4 acres of trees. the mafia and taliban lose billions because when marijuana becomes legal, the bottom drops out of heroin, opium and cocaine,and the prison industry loses over 800,000 inmates per year, the judiciary loses 800,000 cases, or more, because a huge percentage of our crime scene is based on drugs, which will put all those flag waving dea agents out of work. they’ll have to follow the lead of the cia,and pump tons of coke into the system,to create a usefulness, or lose there job. the ability of a man to comprehend something is predicated on how much it effects his paycheck. once power is obtained, the bearer seldom lets it go without a fight, the only problem is lawyers fight dirty, and they’ve robbed america blind, in more ways than one. if the american public has consistently voted by margins of 65% to 72% to legalize medical marijuana, shouldn’t it be legal? it’s not, but let’s give big alcohol a pat on the back for increasing the strength of beer, you can cry in it over the lost liberty and justice that lawyers and politicians have stolen. if the majority votes for something in the affirmative, how is it still illegal? wait until beer is over 13%alcohol, the carnage on our nations highways will triple, but here, have another beer, and by the way, you can pay more in alcohol taxes. the british are not only coming, they’ve been in charge for a long time.

  16. Unfortunately, this statement from the White House is coming with a price. I live in No. California and watched or heard about 6 raids last Friday. One of these raids was taken against a very good friend of mine that runs a collective under the state guidelines. Even though he is operating by the standards passed on by the state, the DEA took him to jail as well as his girlfriend for possession with intent to distribute. My guess is that after the White House made that statement, Bush’s crony, that is still appointed to the DEA, told everyone in the DEA that time is short before they can no longer raid in medical states. So let’s go out and arrest as many people as we can before we can’t legally do it anymore. What BS!!! Instead of focusing their efforts against ACTUAL DRUGS, IE: Coke, Heroin, Exstacy, Meth, they are ruining the lives of people that should be able to legally provide medicine that people like myself needs. I have degerative disk disease and before medical marijuana, I was addicted to the “legal” prescription pain killers. Now with medical, I can deal with my pain and not have to worry about detoxing off of opiates. But the feds just don’t care!!! Go ahead. Don’t use medicine that is not addictive and legal in California. Instead we want you to be addicted to what we say is right on a federal level. Give me a break! Now I have to figure out how to raise $25,000 bail from my friend that was arrested as a “dangerous drug dealer”. The White House can’t stop the raids soon enough in my mind…

  17. This site is crazy. We can’t allow marijuana use, it has been shown to increase lung cancer, schizophrenia, it’s a gateway drug, and is horribly addictive and morally wrong. I’ll stick to my far safer whiskey, thank you!

  18. Personally, I like drinking beer when I smoke. But it would be nice to pick up a bag when I picked up a six-pack at the grocery store. Hey, why not? If you can pick up oxycotin at the pharmacy in the grocery store, you should be able to get some REAL medicine in there as well. At least, if we lived in a free country, we would be able to do just that. Then again, we would have to stand up and demand that right. Otherwise, we will just have to settle for the privileges we have now.

  19. Re: Taxing Alcohol
    It seems some in Oregon are proposing a 1900% tax increase on beer! I don’t live in Oregon, but I find that about as offensive as calling such taxes “sin” taxes! Drinking beer is not a sin.
    I wrote a short article wondering if it wasn’t another attempt at prohibition in disguise, an early 1900’s mind-set. Or perhaps another case of politicians thinking we are really wealthy.
    http://NewOldSalt.com/Oregons_Cannon_to_Shoot_Self__Beer_Tax_Increase_of_1900_Percent
    Re: Alabama, higher alcohol
    In college some of my roommates went to Canada to buy beer, which was supposedly higher in alcohol, but that was so long ago… (RIT)
    I also lived in AL, in “the hood,” and where I am now, no Colt 45! A “best buy!” 🙂 I bet the Oregonians are cringing about now. 🙂

  20. The hypocracy of alcohol goes on and on. This morning on Good Morning America they interviewed Bob Barker. While I admire him for his unrelenting stance on animal welfare, I had to roll my eyes at his comment about always having a bottle of tequila nearby. If he had made reference to a “good bag of sativa” all hell would break loose.
    Then later tonight I went up to my mom’s to celebrate my brother’s birthday party and my mom breaks out a 12 pack of beer, and we’re all standing around in the kitchen drinking (not excessively mind you) but the kids are all around too, and I”m thinking, now why is this okay and not a bad influence on the kids, but later on when my brother ribs me about smoking pot, he gets an elbow jab in the side by his wife reminding him that there are kids in the room!
    Can someone please help me understand why alcohol is okay but pot is not?

  21. This brings another question to mind. Will NORML and the other cannabis supporting organizations be able to withstand the financial crisis that looms larger than life right now.
    I’ve never been much for fund-raising and donations, although NORML has received a good amount of money from me, but now is the time for each of us to consider this.
    Unfortunately I am of the mind that we’re in a collapse right now and it will get a great deal worse. So what I’m asking doesn’t come easy for me however, those of you who support the end to this joke called Prohibition send your donations in now. If you can’t do it now then consider putting a few bucks away every week for the next three or four months and then send that in.
    I’m one of those who needs the medical cannabis and I’m one of those who can’t get it. Therefore I resort to alcohol, and alcohol does not agree with me.
    Thanks for reading this and please think about it.

  22. mass has decriminalized pot and they are going to benifet from it this summer by people flocking to vacation there and spending money in great amounts and the state will benifet from tourism due to the fact that if caught with pot they will only get a $100.00 fine and no jail time.smart move mass.this state is likely to become overpopulated with a strong economy.SMARTEN UP CONNECTICUT DONT LET THIS CHANCE TO KEEP THE STATE STRONG PASS YOU BY.dont let connecticuts dollars go to mass.time to decriminalize.

  23. I’ve been saying that for years , FIREWEED . AND WHY IS IT DOING HARM TO OUR CHILDREN TO SEE , mICHAEL pHELPS SMOKING POT FROM A BONG AND NOT HARMING KIDS WHEN THEY SEE ALL THOSE ADS SHOWING YOU HOW GREAT IT IS TO DRINK BEER , WINE OR USE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS BOTH ON TV , BILLBOARDS AND HEAR IT ON THE RADIO .

  24. The states are so strapped for cash that they will become very inventive to the point of stupidity to generate income. They will not care what or who they will sacrifice in order to make their budgets work and keeping the status quo. Increasing ways to poison the masses with alcohol and cigarettes as long as the state coffers get filled, the means justify the end. Self population control alcohol and tobacco represents. The states are addicted to their budgets like a junkie looking for the next fix.
    All of the states should have a uniformed law regarding cannabis not having this in place is one big problem. The bigger problem is the federal government having too much influence and power over states by using legal blackmail to satisfy the agendas of prohibitionists and moralists.
    We can blog, rant and rave forever it will not change. Collectively we can contact our government officials and tell them of our concerns and demand change or we will not be voting for them next election.
    We can support NORML by continuing to donate money and time.
    If this going to change we must take action and never waiver.
    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

  25. I’ve been reading’Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It’by Judge JamesP.Gray,there is alot of wisdom and common sense in this book.We have to do something,we are wasting billions of tax dollars and building prisons,when we should be building schools.Call your state and federal politicians,make sure they know that American Taxpayers are tired of supporting a failed War on Drugs.Let us take a different approach to a social problem.And look at the way drugs are classified.We can’t afford to spend billions on a failed policy

  26. Re #8 Springhill Jack, dig the attitude but in my opinion you’d be waisting your time.. If any amount of facts, or statistics, or logic, or outright begging was of any political value we would have WON MANY YEARS, NO MAKE THAT MANY DECADES AGO. What you can do is ask NORML to publish an enemy’s list. For instance read this other post from the home page.
    ———Congressman Introduces Bill Criminalizing Products Designed To “Defraud” Drug Tests
    Share This Page Share This Page on del.icio.us Share This Page on digg Share This Page on Stumble Upon Share This Page on Facebook Share This Page on Twitter
    February 19, 2009 – Washington, DC, USA
    Washington, DC: Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), along with Reps. Peter Defazio (D-OR), Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and Lee Terry (R-NE), has introduced legislation in Congress to criminalize the production and sale of any commercial products intended to influence drug test results, such as diuretic teas or chemical adulterants.————
    Let’s begin the list with Mssrs. Engel and Defazio. Let Norml punish them at the polls. Campaign for their defeat, send donations to their opponents and then take a bow. I’m not surprised about the 2 Republicans but Eliot and Defazio are Democrats from 2 civilized states, shame on them.

  27. Why does this surprise anyone? For fuck sakes the Kennedy’s where bootleggers and you people are still surprised that the politicians and lawmakers are willing to look the other way on something that’s our most effective population control? Pull your collective asses off the damn cross, grow the hell up, and think for a change.

  28. The alcohol laws in Georgia are ridiculously retarded. You can still buy alcohol on Sundays, but it has to be in a restaurant/bar/etc. Essentially, you can still get your drink on if you stocked up Saturday night or want to go out to eat, but god forbid you should be able to go the grocery store on Sunday after receiving your communion Wine to buy food for dinner and alcoholic beverages to go with the meal.
    There’s no reason for that, but even removing the “blue” law, be able to buy alcohol on a Sunday at the gas station or liquor store won’t give them the tax revenue that they need. They need to Relegalize marijuana, regulate it, and tax it.

  29. Daniel, in Dallas, Texas the reason the liquor stores are closed on Sundays and the bars can serve drinks has nothing to do with churches. It is because the wine and beer lobbyists don’t want the competition. As usual, they ride on the puritan votes to enforce their will. Weed will remain illegal until we all just say to hell with the law. Active opposition and defiant non-compliance is how their fake power over us will be defeated. In other words, when we grow a pair, the laws will be overturned. Until we realize lawmakers do not need education about weed, but need to learn they need to be overpowered by citizens, it will remain illegal. And deservedly so, for until then we are merely cowards who deserve what they hand out to our groveling hands.

  30. I cannot agree more with you, Springheel Jak
    It’s like you KNOW me!
    The only way to legalize or decriminalize cannabis is to act. Even if it means politically. HERE AT: http://WWW.VOTESMART.ORG/ you can view the elected representatives and local officeholders of your area. Hopefully Springheel is way ahead of me.
    Being a committed activist starts with being a good citizen. Register to vote and participate in every election. Identify your elected representatives and important executive officeholders in your local, state, and national government. Contact the legislators that represent you and let them know you are in favor of reducing penalties for marijuana possession, that you support providing legal exemptions for medical cannabis use, that you are in favor of developing hemp as an alternative agricultural crop, and that you support marijuana’s legalization. Alcohol is not the answer.

  31. Political action does nothing. The only action that gets anything done is the one that requires sacrifice. Sacrifice your good name, blab about pot and it’s superiority over alcohol WITH NO REGARD FOR HOW ANYONE ELSE FEELS ABOUT IT! Sacrifice your freedom: blacks didn’t get to ride in any seat on the bus because they protested just at the bus stop! They got it because they followed Rosa Parks example and SAT WHERE THEY WANTED TO!!! Sure some got beat up, some got arrested, but look at it now. Just try to tell a black person they have to sit in the back of the bus!!! My answer is, if you want pot legal, grow it in your front yards and encourage your neighbors to do the same. Smoke on your front porch with abandon! Smoke it in public, and if you deal it, yell out to the public I GOT WEED FOR SALE! “CHRONIC”, “KUSH”, “KGB”, “I HAVE IT, COME GET IT”!!! Think about it,if you can get enough support, what are they going to do, arrest us all??? There have always been more pot-heads in this country than any other “minority group”, so why should they have freedom to do and be, and yet pot-smokers must still hide in the shadows and shudder at the sound of a police siren?
    Only when you are ready to do these things, will weed become legal!!!!

  32. I honestly feel that if the president can’t see what our entire country (including the people who do not use marijuana) can see it would be a true disappointment for everyone. He has already made so many changes in such little time, why not this one? We the people are struggling more than need be. There are so many uses for cannabis that would boost our economy, and that is what our Founding Fathers said from the beginning. They wanted Our People to be able to prosper from the wonder resources of the plant. Some of our Founding Fathers have been on record to have had their own plantations for their person uses as well. He who has the courage to stand strong and lead this country the way our Founding Fathers intended, will Never Be Forgotten. It is time for our leader to take stand and Make The Change! Yes We Can Obama! Yes We Can! We can be the great country our Founding Fathers intended! Will YOU be the one to make the difference and SAVE OUR PEOPLE?!

  33. For thousands of years Cannabis was freely used by humans. Then, in 1937, Harry Anslinger, of the newly formed US Bureau of Narcotics–a confirmed RACIST–makes pot illegal for humankind in the United States and around the world. It’s time to end the racism against cannabis, end Cannabis Prohibition NOW.

  34. I like Beer.
    I like pot “I like it a lot”
    I like opium
    I like mushrooms
    I like cactus
    All you can grow your self 🙂
    No need to pay any one anything. No taxes, no money to organized crime.
    Natural plants you can grow.

  35. PLZ. Tell me how many headlines you can find, where someone caused a horrific car cras or a hit and run because they had consumed a little THC. It is in the news daily where someone killed someone else while being drunk. There are constantly media events where someone got shot or stabbed at a bar. But yet they are thinking about making the beer stronger and making a few more dollars on it. I guess there wife,husband or children have not been harmed by a drunk.Lets give them a way to get drunk quicker. How many times have you or someone you know been around violence related to alcohol., myself plenty. But have a hard time remembering being around someone who is violent from smoking pot. Guess the gov. and pharm. business is more important than reducing the violence. To me that seems the only reason pot is not legal. They might loose some money from medical drugs. Pot is safer without all of the harmful side effects of medical drugs. And treat alot of the same problems and conditions. I know I like Being hooked on Vicadan (sarcasm) for chronic pain due to a service connected disability. When a little thc would do the same thing with less side effects. But since the feds say I cant I am, just another that are controlled by gov. and BIG PHARM. companies.

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