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

  1. One more laughable term she uses; she calls herself an “addicionista”? I believe this term would be related to fashionista, which denotes a person who is on top of fashion trends to the point of obsession, and could just as easily be interchanged with fashion-phile, or one who loves fashion. So to extend this logic to the word addicionista, could we consider Ms. Barthwell a person who loves addiction? It would make sense considering that she got rich off the backs of those suffering addiction issues. What a useless idiot.

  2. I think she secretly understands the applicable use of smoked marijuana, she’s just afraid to have pot-farmers legally growing it and taking money away from the THC-pill producing companies, that in turn pay her salary, that she consults for.

  3. Drug testing . I’ve been telling you this is all about pharmaceutical & that they were the ones who
    ” invented ” these Drug testing Kits . Hopefully some more of you will come around and figure out what i knew years ago .

  4. The government is supposed to protect us from enemies both foreign and domestic, yet they allow domestic terrorists to operate freely in the guise of the DEA, ONDCP, etc.

  5. ………..maybe big Alcohol & even Tobacco had something to do with inventing the Drug testing Kit . Which they use as a tool to trick and deceive you for one reason only . To put money into their pockets .

  6. God i HATE people like this. Bitch missed her calling of being an inquisitor by just a coupla hundred years. Oh well as i wish everytime i come across people as tyrannical as her.. may she get hit by a bus.

  7. Wow. Ludacris and Any Winehouse??
    I’ve often wondered how we live in a society in which cannabis usage is openly featured in TV, movies, etc., yet we have the incredibly damaging laws we do. It isn’t until you read something like this and see how those who profit from cannabis prohibition (prisons, treatment centers) that you can clearly see they are just trying to keep a steady stream of “customers” coming through their profitable ventures in handcuffs. To cite a rapper with a penchant for cannabis-infused lyrics and a female crooner whose substance abuses are sad and hard to watch as being among her “favorites” is the most disingenuous thing I have seen in some time. Wow.

  8. The idea of extracting and isolating THC from the rest of the herb should be of grave concern to both patients and doctors. Cannabis contains a large number of chemicals that probably mitigate the potent effects of TCH. And, as any bud tender, or connaisseur smoker knows, different strains of cannabis produce different effects. If THC is isolated and taken as a mere extract of its original substance, we could then be looking at the first death of overdose, the first set of permanent and harmful side effects, and the first ever genuine addiction that includes clinically significant withdrawal symptoms, possibly even life threatening ones.
    It is when we exploit nature and take only that part that we think we want that we get into trouble. An example is with cocoa leaves, which indigenous tribes used for centuries with no individual or social ill effects. But when we extracted and consumed the active ingredient, cocaine, people got horribly addicted, lost their ability to function, lost their septums (the cartilage inside the nose between the nostrils) and died of overdoses.
    What in God’s name is there to improve on with this wonderful plant?

  9. this is interesting: according to’s “dangers of marijuana” section, “New harmful chemical components of marijuana are still being discovered.” they managed to cite this statement with an article written in 1991.

  10. Barthwell is a shameless money grubbing liar who knows damned well that all she can do is spew the same lies and nonsense that the DEA spews and make good money from it. No person of intellectual substance could possibly believe the crap she spouts, so we know it is dishonest at the core.
    She is brazen..never even recognizing the contradictions and mountains of evidence agaginst her…she just pretends it is not there!! She counts on weak sister politicians and uneducated voters to keep the charade going.No wonder her and her ilk NEVER dare to debate an informed opponent..they cannot stand the obvious shame of being outed by facts and substance so they refuse to acknowledge the reality and cling to their insane view of legal force and jail as the solution to all problems..and she calles herself a DOCTOR??
    Her Hippocratic Oath alone should prevent her from a stance that would throw her patients in jail for medicating with a safe and effective medicine…talk about no shame…no morals..awful shells of human beings parading around proud of their horrible crimes of intellect and humanity.
    Barthwell should be marginalized, never quoted, and relegated to the dump of failed industry shills that have been proven to be of no real use. Someday there will be very few entities willing to fork over good money to hear yet another litany of lies and Calvinistic winger wagging from yet another ‘ former’ government drug drone.
    She is a horrible person and a shameful example of what happens when dollars become a doctors God.

  11. # 13–Dude!! That is one of the best;and most Logical Arguement I have heard in a while…………I am printing it out and thumbtackin’ that Post to the livingroom wall for all visitors to read.

  12. You guys missed “From Crain’s Chicago Business
    Hmmm …. Who’s from Chicago that we know.

  13. Must have done something wrong, my post didn’t go through the first time.
    Find it interesting that this comes from Crain’s Chicago Business Illinois.
    It’s outrageous that the lies and filth they spew forth continue.

  14. I think she has something terribly wrong with her brain already ! This woman has obviously lost it , & is bought & paid for ! so what else is new ? Give me liberty or give them death ! Hmmm ! God bless !

  15. I’ve been trying to piece together some processes lately. I know this may not be on target with the topic being discussed but it’s never stopped me before. The more I see horrible acts occur the more I think about why someone would put themselves in that situation. This isn’t the entire gamut of thoughts but just the ones I’d like to talk about. They want us to feel like we’re loosing all control over everything. Maybe they think that it’s far better to be in jail or prison than it is to be out in the “real” world. Now, I know it’s very “REAL” being incarcerated but what does it solve driving someone to insanity? Where upon they would commit a crime just so they can end up being given quarter or treated more fairly while incarcerated than by the people who they did wrong. People see others do what they want and get away with it so why not them? Don’t lead with a “Do as I say and not as I do” mentality cause it sets a bad example for everyone to follow. Especially when it’s something that is hidden cause once it comes to light their will be more questions. People should want to live in the “free world” but the more I think about that it appears that some, if not many, feel that they don’t live in that “free world” anymore. They want us to feel like we’re locked up on the outside and the inside. I believe jails/prisons and the rule of law have a very important role in society but when we have at least 25% of the world’s incarcerated what does that tell you? Either “our country” is full of crazies or they know that the only way to take complete control, control a “free society”, is to use hysteria as a tool for us to act out of character and become a statistic. We should all think clearly and concisely about each and everything we do cause it’s what we do everyday that defines who we are as a person, as a society, as a culture, as a country, as people of a world that we share. If their was no “evil” in the world would we really need to be told what to do with our lives? Sometimes its “evil” that shows itself as “good” but it’s intentions are of question. What isn’t these days? Don’t be afraid to reach out and do what is right instead of living in fear of what the “world” may do to you if you speak the truth. This world is not entirely peaceful. You might find some bits and pieces of it which make it all worthwhile. You have to be at peace with yourself first. Don’t loose self-control. Ultimately, if we really want a better world for all of us it starts and ends with each one of us and we need to do it together. I know scatter-brained. (:])

  16. READ… READ… READ… I had a thought the other day after hearing one of the NORML pod casts. The main stream media is just a biz. We know they track the searches on their web sites. We should go to FOX, NBC, CNN, and others such “marijuana”. The more hits they get the more likely they are to cover marijuana related stores. This way we can get more mainstream press.


  18. She’s daft and clever; an ugly combination. Being berated on NORML actually helps her prove she’s on target for those she consults with. This is one side of the information wars I wish wasn’t used against organizations like NORML.
    Though the point for point of her “healthy” lifestyle being infused with those who clearly violate what she’s working against is priceless. Thanks for the Sunday morning chuckle.
    At least when it comes to censorship the ONDCP and others were not able to get movies with cannabis shown in them X-rated like they were trying to pressure into place. I’m always amazed at how easy it must be for these people to simply ignore the influence of thousands of years of influence on our culture. It must be far simpler to live in denial of all the atrocious things that have made us better over time.

  19. Well said #13. And as far as the Dr. and her ilk goes; I find it hard to believe that someone smart enough to get a doctorate in anything would be dumn enough to think that forced treatment works on addicts. She is in the field and doesn’t realize that the only ones who actually have a chance of “treatment” to be successful are the one who go there voluntarily? And the fact is that there isn’t enough room for those folks because of all the people being pushed in by the courts. In most states one can even get keep yourself out of prison time on a real crime by just saying your crime is related to an addiction and undergo treatment, whether your actually an addict or not further clogging the system. The treatment system is a mess due to prohibition and the people at the top of those companies just don’t care about helping addicts, just the money and they make most of their money from the government—our tax dollars.

  20. Why is it that the good people of this world are either killed or put into prison, while the pricks like this bitch make out like bandits and will probably live ’til she’s in her nineties?

  21. The pharmaceutical companies synthetic THC has already killed 4 people,and their attempt at extracting just the chemicals they want from the plant may well do the same thing. The plant has many chemicals that counteract each other in ways that they can’t explain,and the plant balances the mix into a relatively safe substance,and if they don’t balance their extract the same way,it won’t be as safe as marijuana is. Time will tell.

  22. How do i say this as nice as i can, This woman is got to be out of her mind and she comes from my state. i am offended. She better get good at guitar cause shes about to be out of a job. the world is changing, and will do so without her. More propaganda from drug companies who’s pills harm and addict more people everyday. Drug test everyone? Who is she kidding. Let’s Drug test her everyday and put her in jail for what shes on cause you know she is on something to say filth like this. The truth is out there you can’t NIXON the facts. everyone already knows the truth even people who don’t use cannabis.

  23. There is no known treatment for stupidity. Even cannabis with its many wonders could not help Dr.Barthwell. Best you can do for her is to fix her a martini, prop her in a corner and let her attract flies.

  24. If She and her peers really believe the smoked cannabis is harmful why don’t they examine some of us that have been smoking daily for over 40 years? Maybe give Irv a call. “Cannabis is harmful”. They can’t blow that smoke up my pant leg. Too many of us old hippies are doing just fine thank you.

  25. Perfect title. Someone should tell her that if she’s going to be a typical cheapskate and make money off of an easy target, she should have sufficient evidence to support…and should act in ways that favor her position.
    And does she know she’s technically supporting us with all of her promotions? Nice job Barthwell.

  26. Gwen Olson , pharmaceuticalist and admitted former
    ( legal ) drug pusher stated that she quit the Drug biz after a friend died trying to quit legal prescription medication . Big Pharma pays out 1.4 million a day to lobbyists .
    I don’t know if it’s true .
    You can read it online by goggling her name . Just more
    evidence that the Drug Companies are fighting hard to keep Marijuana illegal . I also have evidence of Big Alcohol & big Tobacco keep it illegal . More later ……….

  27. If anyone ever asks me why marijuana is still illegal, here is my answer. It is to keep all the cops, judges, prison guards, lawyers, judges, etc., going. This excess of employed, just happens to be founded on a lie that marijuana is dangerous or whatever.
    The big question for mainstream is: what happens to this business of enforcement, incarceration, record, etc., when prohibition looks draconian? The short answer is a redistribution of wealth.
    The legal cannabusiness, patient, and consumer is a new economy opportunity! How can we not set marijuana consumers free knowing that we as a society with science and all know better? Instead people want to make money going after otherwise law abiding and peaceful people simply because they have the law on their side? Back in the day this needless enslavement was called slavery!
    How dare people abandon common sense so they can control peoples lives! Someday the the drug war years will also be called slavery; of drug users harvested from a greater drug using society.

  28. Look,….
    The Bible says that Your body is a “temple”, metaphorically. The Bible also states that Gluttony is discouraged while MODERATION is Highly recomended.
    My thought is: How can it be bad for Ur temple to consume something(M.J. in this scenario) in it’s natural state(which is balanced by nature) instead of putting a concentrated pill form into your body. Last I checked CONCENTRATED and MODERATED are not one and the same.
    On that same theory— I would guess it is more of a sin against your “temple” to consume things like Tylenol; because Tylenol is hard on Your stomach lining and damages your liver,too. Seems to me….things that damage the inner-workings of MY/YOUR metaphorical “Temple” would be worse than consuming Cannabis…..the ONLY substance Man is unable to Overdose on. HELL, man!!! Even too much of good things like the Sun and even water can lead to what one would list as O.D. symptoms. And yes(i was astonished to learn….) you can become over-hydrated from drinking too much water.

  29. Love your article, but i cannot for the life of me understand that graph (and I am not stoned and have not been in longer than I can remember):
    Why do you have 10,000 at the top of the x column on the left and the values increase as you go down until there is 100,000 at the bottom?
    What am I missing?
    For the record:
    I prefer medicine which is older than humanity itself, grows naturally, and has never caused an overdose in all of recorded history to any synthetic chemicals concocted by Big Pharma in the last 70+ years.
    Pills for ADHD in children? Children are naturally curious and have short attention spans, they’re new to the world and want to know everything about everything, for FSM-sake! They don’t need a sugar pill at $80/bottle twice a month!
    [Editor’s note: An chart measures so-called Internet ‘reach’ (in other words, how popular webpages are), the higher the number, the lower the reach. The anti-cannabis webpage, EducatingVoices, does not even chart…conversely MPP’s, and especially NORML’s webpage are popular.]

  30. It’s obviously too late to save this woman from Alzheimer’s, and a guitar ain’t gonna do the job, Martin or otherwise. People like her made a good case for retroactive abortion—on her Mother’s part.
    [Editor’s note: Ouch! That is kind of extreme. Let’s hope Dr. Barthwell just finds a more honest line of work rather than never having been born…]

  31. Valid medicinal value, it’s a victimless crime, the War on Drugs WAY too costly, too many arrests for simple possession, tax it and use the money to pay for health insurance and to reduce the deficit…Need I say more?
    Woodstock Universe supports legalization of Marijuana.
    We will giveaway a Woodstock Universe Prize Package to the best member blog on “Why we should legalize marijuana?”
    Prize package includes Woodstock Universe T-shirt and magnet, WDST decal, Radio Woodstock Live in Woodstock CD and Woodstock 3 days of peace and music Director’s Cut DVD.
    Join Woodstock Universe to blog or just vote in our poll.
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    New poll started 11/25…currently 96% for 4% against.
    Peace, love, music, one world,

  32. While entertaining, I think we have better things to accomplish here in the legalization effort than smear campaigns on such personal levels as music taste… this is bad, like high school bickering bad.

  33. Barthwell takes the King’s coin and is therefore obliged to sing the King’s song and dance the King’s dance. Considering what some people have paid for freedom and liberty in this country, it amazes me how easily the majority of citizens of this same nation allow their God-given rights to be taken away. Those content with living in a police state, deserve to do so. All true freedom loving American patriots have another idea.

  34. I just sent this twitter “@DrAGB Check this video out — Ludacris – Blueberry yum yum” w/video link…..

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