One of Big Pharma’s drug slinging henchmen, who is currently facing federal charges for allegedly paying off doctors to aggressively move prescription painkillers, wants a federal court to allow him to continuing smoking medical marijuana so he can remain levelheaded for his defense.
According to Reuters, the legal team for Jeffery Pearlman recently filed a motion in Connecticut’s U.S. District Court in hopes of getting a federal judge to amend the bail restrictions that prevent him from using medical marijuana. The motion suggests that Pearlman should be allowed to use marijuana throughout his criminal trial because it the only medicine effective in combating his addiction to the very pain medications that he once got paid to sell.
"Forcing him off the medical marijuana and forcing him to return to addictive opioids would impair his Sixth Amendment right to participate fully in his defense and his Fifth (Amendment) right to due process," the motion written by attorneys Michael Rosensaft and Scott Resnik of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP reads.
Essentially, Pearlman’s legal eagles want a federal judge to grant him the use of medical marijuana for fear that, without it -- he might slip back into the deadly grips of opioid addiction.
Legal experts specializing in cannabis law say that Pearlman’s attorneys appear to have crafted an innovative argument, but there is not much hope that it will produce the desired results.
"It is a very creative defense," Keith Stroup, attorney and founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Reuters. "But I can assure you there has never been a federal judge that has granted such a motion."
In September, Pearlman, a former district sales manager at Insys, was arrested for providing doctors with kickbacks in exchange for prescribing opioid medications. He allegedly set up events billed as “educational” where he paid physicians sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars to speak on behalf on his company’s painkillers. These paid speakers allegedly helped move millions of dollars worth of Fentanyl, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Interestingly, Pearlman ended up getting hooked on prescription painkillers after suffering a back injury. Shortly thereafter, a physician in New Jersey recommended he use medical marijuana, which Pearlman says is the only treatment he has tried that cuts through the pain.
Pearlman’s legal team asserts that since he has been using medical marijuana he has been able to “think more clearly,” which he needs to face his pending legal woes.
Perhaps he should have smoked a joint before making the decision to move forward with the kickback scheme.