I wrote a while back that Peter Thiel, a close Trump advisor, has invested heavily in Marley brand cannabis. If that sort of thing is of interest you can go here for reviews and assays of Marley herbal products.

But this is about politics. And the politics is getting interesting. After picking more than a few anti-cannabis people for cabinet positions (like Jeff Sessions) Trump is considering Peter Thiel associate Jim O’Neill to head the FDA.

Jim O’Neill, the Thiel associate, hasn’t been officially selected, according to the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the decision process is private, and the Trump team could still go in another direction.

O’Neill is a managing director at Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management, and last served in government during the George W. Bush administration as principal associate deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. He’s also a board member of the Seasteading Institute, a Thiel-backed venture to create new societies at sea, away from existing governments.

Thiel’s spokesman Jeremiah Hall said O’Neill is a good candidate. “Jim O’Neill has extensive experience in government and in Silicon Valley. He is a strong candidate for any of several key positions,” Hall said in an e-mail. Separately, Politico and CNBC reported that O’Neill could be under consideration for various positions.

Bloobmberg (news) goes on to say:

O’Neill also could push the agency in new directions. In a 2014 speech, he said he supported reforming FDA approval rules so that drugs could hit the market after they’ve been proven safe, but without any proof that they worked, something he called “progressive approval.”

“We should reform FDA so there is approving drugs after their sponsors have demonstrated safety — and let people start using them, at their own risk, but not much risk of safety,” O’Neill said in a speech at an August 2014 conference called Rejuvenation Biotechnology. “Let’s prove efficacy after they’ve been legalized.”

Legalized? Hmmmm.

Checking drugs for safety only was how it used to be done. It lowers the cost of drug development by at least a factor of 10X. Lowereing costs for development would mean that Big Pharma will take quite a hit because efficacy testing keeps little guys out of the market. It is a price support mechanism for Big Pharma.

I jokingly said that Trump should nominate Bernie Sanders to head the DEA. Maybe that is not as much of a joke as I thought.