Former Deputy Drug Czar Still Looks For Marijuana Prohibition To Pay Her

Reading a puff piece on one of the most disingenuous anti-cannabis activists in America, Dr. Andrea Barthwell of IL and VA, made my eyes roll as the contradictions and hypocrisies kept coming out–like a parade of clowns in one’s mind.

From Crain’s Chicago Business
Andrea Barthwell, 55, provides medical consulting, forensic work and lectures for clients as president of Encounter Medical Group P.C.  in River Forest and founder and CEO of EMGlobal LLC, based in Arlington, Va.  What she prescribes:
News from alternative sources such as and  “Members post stories from a variety of media; it tells you what people are thinking and talking about.” Scouts Chicago Tribune, New York Times and USA Today for health-related human-interest stories; traveling three weeks a month, reads medical articles via laptop.
An M.D.  and former deputy drug czar under George W.  Bush, follows A&E’s “Intervention.” Tweets relevant articles as @DrAGB: “I’m an addictionista.”
A prominent opponent of legalizing marijuana, she consults for a company developing a drug that’s a marijuana extract “because drugs are tested under the highest scientific standards and subject to FDA approval; the crude plant is not.” Follows the issue via the Marijuana Policy Project, Naperville-based and, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Finds comfort in Alexander McCall Smith’s series, “The No.  1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” based in Botswana.  “A smart mystery and no loose ends; everyone winds up happy.”
Creates iPod playlists for writing, reading and cooking.  In the mix: “Anything Motown; Ludacris, Andrea Bocelli and Corinne Bailey Ray.  She can moan like nobody else.” Finds new music at  “That’s how I discovered Amy Winehouse.”
Works crossword puzzles and studies “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Guitar.” “I got a Martin acoustic guitar last Christmas; I’m guarding against Alzheimer’s.”

Here we go…Dr. Barthwell has made a career and a lot of money advocating that the American public should be drug tested en mass, all children should be randomly drug tested, students should lose their loans upon a simple cannabis arrest; as well as the mass arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations of cannabis consumers.
She has testified against medical access to cannabis and that the American farmer should be prohibited from cultivating industrial hemp.
She is one of the relatively few physicians in America that believes that the criminal justice system is preferable to decriminalization. Then again, it is so much easier to make money when the government does most of the dirty work, creates prohibition-related industries, like the ones that literally bring the clients to the money-makers in handcuffs, such as private prisons or to so-called ‘addiction specialists’ like Dr. Barthwell (since the late 1990s, most of the clients of addiction specialists like Barthwell are forced into their offices after being presented with the Hobson’s Choice by the government post-arrest of either going to jail or to visit–and pay!–the Dr. Barthwell’s of the world).
But here is where the ironies and contradictions just have to make one laugh at the absurdity found in some of the self-interested players in cannabis prohibition like Barthwell–a prohibition profiteer to rival any street level drug dealer.
Taking these laugh points on in sequential order…
Dr. Barthwell recommends projectcensored? The Projectcensored that recently featured the harms and costs of cannabis prohibition arrests as a highly censored mainstream media topic? Dr. Barthwell recommends reading the Chicago Tribune, New York Times and USA Today…but, does she actually read them as, ironically, all of these paper’s editorial boards (and most every columnist) traditionally support both decriminalizing cannabis and medical access to the plant.
One of the specific ways Dr. Barthwell makes money off of cannabis prohibition these days–post doing so on the taxpayer’s expense while at the ONDCP for years–is to work for pharmaceutical companies that are trying to develop cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals where she essentially argues that ‘pills and suppositories (possibly consisting of pure THC!)’ are A-OK, but a physician-instructed patient is a criminal if they use the whole plant material; patients should have no access to whole-smoked cannabis. Period.
Dr. Barthwell claims to monitor opponents like NORML and MPP as well, and that she recommends an extreme anti-cannabis organization called The folks at Educating Voices (Dr. Barthwell’s home state anti-cannabis organization in IL) should be happy she visits their webpage, because according to the webpage ranking site, almost nobody visits their webpage.
If the marketplace of ideas and equal access to information means anything at all, cannabis law reform webpages are much, much more popular than anti-cannabis webpages.

Dr. Barthwell’s recommendations on music are also ironic to the point of absurd. Ludacris? Dr. Barthwell wants American youth to listen and watch Ludacris? The same Ludacris who performs a cannabis-loving rap song in an industrial cannabis cultivation farm that is as bright as the center of the sun?

Amy Winehouse? Do I need to write more?
By all means Dr. Barthwell, more people should buy and support the musical careers of cannabis consumers like Ludicris and Ms. Winehouse!
Lastly, Dr. Barthwell jests that she’d like to possibly stave of the affects of Alzheimer’s by learning how to play a newly acquired Martin guitar.
I have a suggestion: Why not take guitar lessons from a notable NORML supporter, who happens to own and performs almost daily on the world’s most famous Martin guitar, who has penned over 2,000 songs and could surely help you possibly stave off the affects of Alzheimer’s with his ever-present medicine, who has been known to share from time to time, town to town…

0 thoughts



  3. She works for a major pharmaceutical company…Anything she says is almost automatically tainted by that in regards to any health issues and especially regarding the cheap and effective plant many, many people use.

  4. I agree with #48 that we need to be staying on job. Every minute you grant Dr. Barthwell is a minute you are wasting. We all agree she is a twit so let’s move on. E-mail your Washington creatures, your state reps, your city managers and council folk. And do it often, not just once. Be a big thorn in their sides but present a concise and intelligent representation of cannabis vs. alcohol along with positive current medical news concerning cannabis, I believe that is where we will win the battle. Alcohol is evil and dangerous and the facts back us up. America needs and wants an alternative to the deadly, mind robbing violence of alcohol. We need not beg any more, we only need to keep up the noise. We are coming out of the proverbial closet in mass and now is not the time to stray off course. Waste not one word on the likes of Ms.Barthwell. Instead, write the above mentioned people and also ask them if they have seen the recent news on the mother who medicated her sick child with cannabis laced brownies and the amazing results the child had. Yet another aspect of cannabis that needs to be explored and discussed. For one. I will not vote in the future for any person that still believes the old dogma, still believes in the lies and deception and mis-information of the past and I let them know that. And it is not enough for them to say that they understand or that they will consider your position, you want action and commitment. ENOUGH innocent people have had their lives ruined and their properties taken because of a law based on lies. You cannot, in your heart, support a lawmaker who continues to strattle the fence while these abuses continue. Tell them that! And also tell others. Your friends, mom and dad, anyone who will listen. Almost a million people will be arrested for cannabis use in the usa next year, most of them simple users that will lose their jobs as a result. Many will have a record that will follow them for the rest of their lives as a result. DO NOT EVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT!! If ever there were a moment for us cannabis users it is now.

  5. Jury Lawlessness by way of Jury Nullification. Teach your children well, for tomarrow they may sit in the jury box. Learn to just say NO, refuse to convict anyone for using cannabis and their law will be of no use. JURY NULLIFICATION, Know it, teach it, practice it, and flush that cannabis law right down the drain. Defy the law by use of our Court System, start by sitting in the jury box and use jury nullification to stop this unjust law. Just do it!

  6. Jury Nullification in law is equal to Checkmate in chess. Get it! Use it! Stop their damm foolishness once and for all. Best damm way to shove that unjust law up the government ass.

  7. Just one thought from the past 10 years of observation. Notice how these people and associated websites become fewer and fewer; just about near extinct as H.J.Anslinger? Notice how, with the onslaught of updated medical information and political uncovering, the anti-cannabis brigade is looking more Busch-league than ever. Knowledge is power, and it’s power to the people not the government!

  8. Ah, the smell. Anyone who fought in Vietnam remembers the smell of that country’s reefer. Back then I took an enormous risk and sent a quantity of the reef home. “Sally’s” were what we called them, probably named after LZ Sally, an artillery base, pre-rolled and in packs of ten and they were, at the time, the bomb! They kept me in smoke for a long time after I came back to the world! Without sally war would have been hell! With sally it was still hell but we could laugh at all the absurdity. To this day I tend to call reefer “sally”. If someone knows what I am talking about then I just found a Vietnam buddy, welcome home friend.

  9. “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
    Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President. 18 Dec. 1840

Leave a Reply