SocraticGadfly: States miss regulatory golden opportunity on pot legalization

January 21, 2019

States miss regulatory golden opportunity on pot legalization

I've seen plenty of articles like this, originally in the WSJ, that note that the THC level of modern commercial marijuana is far greater than many moons ago when I was in high school and college.

That alone should give blank-check pro-pot advocates pause when they claim it's not addictive, period. Or when they claim that "pot paranoia" doesn't exist.

For the record, I believe it is addictive, physically and psychologically, and that such a problem of "pot paranoia" is real. However, the likes of Malcolm Gladwell, former Big Tobacco shill, overstate that. Aaron Carroll specifically calls him out for making unjustified extrapolations.

Contra the Reefer Madness crowd, I don't believe marijuana causes cancer, no matter how ingested. Contra the blank-checkers, though, I do believe that smoked marijuana can cause COPD.

So, marijuana is certainly less dangerous than opiates. May or may not be as dangerous as alcohol. Is NOT danger-free.

And, hence, states could probably better regulate it than they are now, in places where legalized, especially full recreational legalization.

Namely, I think states should have a cap on max THC levels, and should also bar any adulteration that would increase addictiveness. Were I a state legislator in a state considering legalization, my vote would be contingent on either a max THC or max THC/gram cap, as well as a taking a listing from adulturants Big Tobacco added to cigs and barring them from being added to any smokable form of marijuana.

Would commercial pot companies do that? You bet your ass they would, just like Philip Morris added ammonia and other stuff to Marlboros.

Second, states need to work — to the degree possible under current federal marijuana laws — on devising a standard measurement for, and field testing of, marijuana intoxication levels. I'm thinking of the marijuana equivalent of a breathalyzer for DWI. Per Carroll above, current tools measure just THC in the body and not impairment.

Given that Altria, the former Philip Morris, just bought e-cigarette maker Juul, and just before that, up in the new Oh Wooowwww Canada, bought into the pot industry, the possibility that pot could be tampered with not only to further boost its THC, but through the addition of other chemicals, to further boost the addiction potential of THC already in it, should be something that is considered in advance. Carroll, without mentioning Big Tobacco by name, also wars about that. Read his piece.

That said, states would find all of this much easier to do if marijuana were downscheduled by the Drug Enforcement Administration from its current Schedule 1 to no higher than Schedule 3.

No comments: