Robbie Martin interviews Peter Andrey Smith about his trip to Tasmania investigating opium poppy farmers who supply the licit aka legal pharmaceutical opioid market in the United States. This DEA sanctioned legal opium market is largely dominated by Johnson & Johnson, using a subsidiary company Tasmanian Alkaloids, that produces large quantities of opium poppies (over 80% of the market) potent in thebane, an important ingredient for the manufacturing of Oxycontin. Johnson & Johnson was recently ordered to pay over $500,000,000 in fines by a judge in an unprecedented ruling for its role in contributing to the opioid epidemic.
Peter Andrey Smith’s article ‘How an Island of the Antipodes Became the World’s Largest Supplier of Licit Opioids’ can be read here.
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