Guest Editorial Week of 3/16/20

By Melissa Martin

Is Big Marijuana already here?
A for-profit company called Harvest Health and Recreation is storming the globe with hype and hyperbole. According to the website, Steve White left his successful law firm to sell medical marijuana out of the goodness of his heart. So, an attorney is at the top of the pot pile. He makes himself sound like the Mother Theresa of helping people with chronic pain.
“Though Harvest has blossomed into something larger and more influential than Steve ever could’ve imagined, its mission hasn’t wavered; Harvest is here to improve lives through the goodness of medical marijuana. And with that in mind, the story has really just begun.”
Stick finger in mouth and make the universal gagging sign. Saint White has come to save humanity with legalized medical marijuana products. And he is donating funds out the wazoo to non-profit organizations. His media marketing mania is so smooth. I’m thinking about butter melting in the mouth smooth—that smooth. And you can purchase cute tee shirts, like a bear smoking/vaping weed with the Harvest logo or hats and accessories. Just peruse his website—and listen to the angels sing in adoration.
“Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. is a multi-state cannabis operator (MSO) and vertically-integrated cannabis company. Subject to completion of announced acquisitions, Harvest will have one of the largest footprints in the U.S. Since 2011, the company has been committed to expanding its Harvest House of Cannabis retail and wholesale presence throughout the U.S., acquiring, creating and growing leading brands for patients and consumers nationally and continuing toward a path of profitable growth. Harvest’s mission is to improve lives through the goodness of cannabis and is focused on its vision to become the most valuable cannabis company in the world.”
Dr. William Troutt, a naturopathic medical doctor, is the Director of Medical Education of Harvest. Yes, cannabis is a natural plant—but so is poison ivy. So, the business is operated by an attorney and a doctor. Don’t forget the investors. Interesting.
“Big marijuana news was made last week when the firm Aurora Cannabis merged with rival MedReleaf in a $3.2 billion deal — the largest in the history of the industry,” according to a 2018 article in National Review. “As was the case with smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana is said to prove you’re sociable, hip, and modern. As with tobacco, marijuana is portrayed not only as largely harmless, but as objectively good for you, with a credible function as self-medication for all sorts of ailments. As with tobacco, marijuana is presented as a signifier of individual liberty and self-empowerment. As with critics of tobacco, critics of marijuana are cast as petty tyrants trampling on freedom while peddling hysterical junk science. And as with the tobacco industry, a cash-flush marijuana industry is eager to use its wealth to slant scientific study and political debate, lest its flattering claims begin to sire organized suspicion.”
Follow the marijuana trail. The green of greed is growing along with the cannabis industry. Folks, all that glitters is not gold.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Southern Ohio. Contact her at


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