Government Marijuana Looks Nothing Like Real Stuff
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Government Marijuana Looks Nothing Like Real Stuff
Posted by CN Staff on March 13, 2017 at 13:20:01 PT
By Christopher Ingraham and Tauhid Chappell
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- Take a look at the photo above. That's what most marijuana consumers picture when they think “marijuana” — chunks of pungent green plant material coated in sticky, crystallized THC-rich resin. if you're a researcher looking to work with marijuana — to say, investigate how it impairs people, or how it could help people suffering from certain ailments — you don't have access to the weed that everyone else is using. Since the late 1960s the federal government has mandated that all marijuana used in research has to come through the federal government.
To investigate the real-world effects of marijuana, however, researchers need a product that looks and feels like the real thing. And they're increasingly frustrated with government weed that is something else entirely.Don't take their word for it. The photo below shows a sample of federal marijuana distributed to Sue Sisley, a researcher who just embarked on a first-of-its-kind clinical trial to test the efficacy of medical marijuana for military veterans suffering from PTSD. quick glance confirms it looks nothing like the commercial marijuana depicted above. While the real stuff is chunky and dark green, the government weed is stringy and light in color. It appears to be full of stems, which most consumers don't smoke. “It doesn’t resemble cannabis. It doesn’t smell like cannabis,” Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. “That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis,” he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.“In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that,” Browne said. “People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on.”It's unclear if this is an exceptionally bad batch, but there's reason to strongly suspect it's typical of what most researchers are given.All federal marijuana is grown at a single facility at the University of Mississippi, overseen by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Last summer the DEA formally took steps to allow other entities to supply marijuana for research purposes. So far, none have been approved.The problems with the Mississippi weed go well beyond aesthetics.For instance, the pot grown there maxes out, potency-wise, at about 13 percent THC (the main chemical that gets you high). And that might be an overstatement — Sisley's own testing found that one of NIDA's strains purported to be 13 percent THC was actually closer to 8 percent.By comparison, the typical commercial weed available in Colorado is at about 19 percent THC, according to a laboratory that tests commercial marijuana in the state. And that's just the average — some of the higher-end strains are pushing 30 percent THC or more.For a researcher, it's difficult to assess the real-world impact of high-end pot if you only have access to the low-quality stuff. It's akin to investigating the effects of bourbon by giving people Bud Light.For certain types of research this isn't necessarily a problem, says Rick Doblin, founding director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a group that's been working with Sisley on the PTSD trial. "[NIDA's] marijuana is fine if you want to do academic research,” Doblin said — studies that look at how marijuana affects the body in a laboratory setting, for instance.But NIDA's weed doesn't pass muster if you want to know how marijuana use is affecting people in the real world. Or if you want to run highly controlled medical experiments, like the one Sisley and Doblin are working on. It's not even tested for some common contaminants, like yeast and mold, that many states now check for as part of their regulatory regimes.Doblin said the marijuana they received from NIDA showed levels of mold and yeast that far exceeded standards for some states, like Colorado and Washington. Be they opted to go ahead with the trial since additional testing confirmed that none of the strains of mold and yeast found in the plant material posed a risk to humans.In an email, a NIDA representative acknowledged that “there has been some emerging interest from the research community for a wider variety of marijuana and marijuana products. ... NIDA does plan on growing some additional marijuana this year and harvest some high THC material that will likely be above 13 percent THC.”Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Christopher Ingraham and Tauhid ChappellPublished: March 13, 2017Copyright: 2017 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on March 15, 2017 at 08:09:37 PT
The cough!
Yes. A lot of it was smoked. I think it took about two years generally to cough it out of your system. It was an odd and oddly identifiable cough, to those of us that had it. People's children were poisoned. It was when some people started realizing that prohibition at any cost was far costlier than they wanted to imagine.Killers. Prohibitionists, especially if prohibition is their full time job, will kill you to save you from enjoying the plant. A man told me many years ago, "Don't you dare doubt that they (the law and prohibitionists) are completely crazy. They will risk and even give up their lives, or yours, to keep you from using that plant. You wouldn't kill anyone over it or die over it.... but they would! They are crazy and dangerous."It's too true.Aaargh.
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on March 15, 2017 at 00:13:16 PT
someone recently said to me "we all smoked Paraquat". I said "what"?? it's probably true. At least anyone that was smoking in the late 70's.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on March 14, 2017 at 17:24:37 PT
Weed masters...
Love their plants. They nurture them and fuss over them. They like them.I have my doubts about the university's work. But, it's not a southern thing. Weed masters did and do come out of the south. I hope our own Herb Doc is doing well out there. We haven't heard from him in a very long time.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on March 14, 2017 at 17:16:34 PT
Sam Adams
"Yet when the government with all its trillions of dollars actively poisons sick veterans and others when it gets the chance, and sends militarized thugs to attack and cage people like Todd Mcormick who try to grow healthy herb for them."Don't forget Paraquat.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on March 14, 2017 at 17:12:56 PT
This report from Grits made me smile.
Path cleared for reduced pot penalties in TX House Only one person spoke against the bill last night, Ector County DA Bobby Bland (not to be confused with the late, great blues singer of the same name, who would certainly have favored the measure).Consider that: No police chiefs testified against. The Sheriff's Association laid off the bill. So did the Texas Probation Association and all its members. No anti-drug advocates were against it. No neighborhood associations. No mayors or city council members. No county commissioners. No teachers, or doctors, or mental health advocates. No judges. No police unions. None of those groups, or even individuals from their ranks, came out against the bill. Just one lone prosecutor from Odessa spoke against it, with DAs from larger jurisdictions all neutral or in favor. (See MSM coverage from the Express News.)This remarkable development was not lost on Vice Chairman Todd Hunter, who for these purposes is more importantly the Chairman of the House Calendars Committee. That's the panel which sets bills that have passed out of committee for floor votes by the full House.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on March 14, 2017 at 09:16:36 PT
Paging Dr. Schwag!
Where is our good friend Doctor Schwag - Mahmoud A. ElSohly - this is his grow!This story about the government cannabis is so telling. The whole "war" on "drugs" is fought to protect our health, right?  Yet when the government with all its trillions of dollars actively poisons sick veterans and others when it gets the chance, and sends militarized thugs to attack and cage people like Todd Mcormick who try to grow healthy herb for them.They have lost all moral crediblity. Taking cannabis, coca, opium, there is absolutely nothing morally wrong with these activites. The government's criminal hypocrisy destroys millions of lives around the world every year! 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on March 13, 2017 at 21:07:36 PT
You made me laugh! Happy Saturday night. I didn't laugh, and laugh, and laugh... cause this whole struggle is awful... but we've actually come a long way. Of course, we resent how long it's taken for sanity to reach some people, but it has reached some people. 
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on March 13, 2017 at 19:29:23 PT
YahWeh! Jah Bless brother GCW!
I am now finally Inebriated enough to post...Thank you sister Hope!Hope springs eternal!So yes, regarding this article, what do you expect (from the govt)? Do I need to go on?We are capped at the knee at every turn!Research this... (ha)On and on we go...We don't want to know, and we are NOT interested!
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on March 13, 2017 at 17:51:16 PT
Up front, I didn't read this but...
This schwag is coming from (again) people in a position of trust.The legal implication.-0-On the other side of the coin, consider attacking prohibitionist rhetoric using their own SCHWAG against them. & perhaps refer to these dinks as The 8%'ers.To continue: We're reminded again of f'n MISSISSIPPI. These poor excuse for growers and the puke Sessions are from the south, namely Mississippi...I know there are good people from everywhere but a life long bunch of info that I receive from the south and places like MississiPPi, make Me thing the percentage of good people in the south is hard to come by.Makes Me think there's a lot of puke down there. THE MOST BACKWARDS - NONprogressive part of America!!!!!IT ALL ADDS UP TO THE REALIZATION THAT WE SHOULD NOT BE LETTING PEOPLE FROM MISSISSIPPI DECIDE WHAT THE NATION DOES REGARDING THE GOD GIVEN PLANT CANNABIS.PLANT, as in what God describes on literally the VERY 1st PAGE OF THE BIBLE.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on March 13, 2017 at 17:06:11 PT
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme..
I'm glad we don't have to depend on the University of Mississippi to show the world how to grow and prepare cannabis.Would we were as poor in knowledge and understanding of cannabis as the government wants us to be, we would be very poor and very ignorant, indeed.
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Comment #1 posted by Hope on March 13, 2017 at 16:58:04 PT
Picked this up on Pete's Couch...
Left there by CosmoTheKnifeThrower.Just an Opinion piece... but a pretty good read.Nation of ‘busybullies,’ not of the free
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