In an about-face that has some scratching their heads, Former Indiana Congressman, Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization (medical and recreational), has officially cashed in on the legal cannabis industry.
In mid-October, FSD Pharma, a Canadian company, announced that Buyer joined its board of directors. FSD, through its subsidiary FV Pharma, produces pharmaceutical-grade cannabis as well and researches cannabinoid-based therapies.
It’s difficult to quantify the fact that from 1998 to 2000, Buyer actively opposed federal legalization — he co-sponsored two resolutions and one bill that both condemned legalization and upheld federal prohibition. Buyer voted five times between 2003 and 2007 to oppose an amendment that would protect medical marijuana patients and their providers from federal prosecution. Perhaps the standard $3 million in stock options and $40,000 cash compensation for board members had a role in his decision?
Buyer, while serving in Congress, signed and supported various resolutions that referred to cannabis as “dangerous and addictive.” While speaking on behalf of Congress, Buyer stated that “ [Congress] is unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana for medical use, and urges the defeat of State initiatives that would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.” In a separate bill co-sponsored by Buyer, he attempted to declare state laws allowing for the use of cannabis “null and void.”
Raza Bokhari, CEO of FSD Pharma, noted in an interview with Marijuana Moment, that while Buyer, a former assistant U.S. attorney, and Indiana deputy attorney general, has personally invested $250,000 in the company, he is still against recreational cannabis use. However, he said that Buyer sees potential in cannabinoids related to drugs for auto-immune diseases. Bokhari revealed that Buyer’s wife suffers from an auto-immune disease with no known cure, although he didn’t elaborate on what the specific condition was.
Buyer, in a press release announcing his appointment to the FSD Board, said the “opportunity to participate in FSD’s growth at this stage is exciting” and that he’s “attracted by FSD’s medical research to tame and define the unknown by challenging the edges of medical science to provide relief to people suffering from fibromyalgia and other serious illnesses.”