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Attempt to Limit Strength of THC in CO

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel July 6, 2016

    C1_8734_r_xLike door-to-door preachers warning us of the threat of hell, fire, and damnation, the prohibitionists seem never to give up their fight against personal freedom. Someone, somewhere must be enjoying themselves, and the evangelizers can’t rest while some of us are enjoying marijuana.

    With the legalization victories in four states and the District of Columbia starting in 2012, those of us who favor legalization have been on a political roll. And there is good reason to be optimistic about the likelihood of adding a number of additional states to the list in November.

    But that success needs to be seen in perspective. While we have been winning most of these voter initiatives, the outcomes have been relatively close. We won with 55% support in Colorado, 56% in Washington, 56% in Oregon, and 53% in Alaska. Only in the District of Columbia was the legalization vote overwhelming (70%).

    So we are clearly winning, but our opponents continue to enjoy the support of a large segment (although no longer a majority) of the voters. And they are not giving up the fight.

    Quite the contrary. So it’s important we legalizers continue our reform efforts as well, full speed ahead.

    Amendment 139 in CO

    The latest example of this is Amendment 139 in CO, where opponents to legalization have begun circulating petitions to qualify a voter initiative for the ballot that would significantly limit the choice and quality of marijuana products available in that state. The proposal is being sponsored by a group calling itself the Healthy Colorado Coalition, recently established by a handful of anti-marijuana zealots specifically to run this initiative.

    They first tried to convince the state legislature to impose potency limits, an effort that failed, and likely would have been enjoined by the courts because language in the initial 2012 marijuana legalization initiative (A-64) expressly permits all forms of marijuana.

    So now they are attempting to amend the state constitution.

    Potency Limits and “Reefer Madness” Propaganda Required

    Amendment 139 would limit the potency of cannabis products to 16 percent THC. According to a state study, currently, the average potency of Colorado pot products is 17.1 percent for marijuana and 62.1 percent for marijuana extracts.

    The amendment would further require absurd, unscientific warnings on pot packaging claiming those who use marijuana risk “permanent loss of brain abilities” and “birth defects and reduced brain development.” Talk about “reefer madness!”

    If passed by voters, the proposed amendment, according to one industry spokesperson, would eliminate as much as 80% of the products currently on the shelves in the state.

    Industry Mounts Opposition Effort

    Fortunately, a new coalition calling itself the Colorado Health Research Council (CHRC) has surfaced to fight A-139, funded by the legal marijuana industry in CO. According to reports in The Cannabist, CHRC has raised more than $300,000 for its campaign against Amendment 139. They are poised to protect their new industry, and this is one of those times when consumers and the industry can and should work cooperatively. The proposal would be harmful to both constituencies, limiting the choice of legal marijuana products available to consumers, and severely constricting the current robust legal industry in Colorado.

    As I have acknowledged in earlier columns, I am personally an old-fashioned marijuana smoker who enjoys rolling and smoking joints. I smoke high-quality marijuana, so I certainly enjoy a good high. That’s the point, after all. But I prefer the high from smoking flowers to the high from edibles or concentrates.

    But that just reflects my personal taste; it is not based on any perceived danger from the more potent concentrates. I’ve seen absolutely no science indicating those using the more potent forms of marijuana are at greater risk.

    The best news about imbibing too heavily in marijuana (for those who may occasionally do that) is that one cannot overdose. That is, unlike alcohol, no amount of marijuana or active marijuana ingredients will cause death, or even lead to serious harm. It is certainly possible to have an unpleasant experience — a “bad trip” — especially if one is an inexperienced user and doing edibles, but there is no permanent harm to the individual.

    No Valid Public Health Reason To Limit THC

    So there is no valid public health basis to arbitrarily limit the maximum level of THC permitted in marijuana products in legal states. The proponents are selling a solution to a problem that does not exist.

    Alcohol drinkers very quickly learn the difference between drinking hard liquor versus drinking wine or beer, and they learn to exercise more moderation with the stronger forms of alcohol.

    The same is true with marijuana smokers and those who use marijuana concentrates. The key is taking personal responsibility for your conduct, regardless of whether we are talking about marijuana or alcohol.

    It’s Important That We Defeat A-139

    So let’s help the public understand that responsible use is the key to healthy marijuana use, not unnecessary and arbitrary limits on strength, quantity or availability.

    And let’s make a special effort to demonstrate by our personal conduct what we mean by “responsible use.” Let’s not provide our opponents with any fodder to feed these misguided efforts to limit the quality or quantity of marijuana products available legally to adults.

    ______________________________________________________________

    This column first ran on Marijuana.com.
    Read more http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/07/attempt-to-limit-strength-of-thc-in-co/

    15 Responses to “Attempt to Limit Strength of THC in CO”

    1. Miles says:

      Once again the stupidest among us make their idiotic voices heard. Limiting the THC is just unbelievably stupid!!! When you get some primo herb you simply use less… DUH!

      It is not unlike the comparison of beer to whiskey. Are these same fools calling for an end to liquor???

      Look – If I take a trip to Colorado I am going to want to get some of the best and strongest available. If the powers that be decide to limit potency, I will have much less reason to want to visit.

      God D@mn Idiots!

    2. Cat Cassie says:

      This same group is also trying to ban mj sales in Pueblo county altogether. I believe they turned in enough signatures to get it on the ballot. If they when people will have to travel all the way to Colorado Springs to buy their mj. I also heard Sabet is behind it. I don’t know if that’s true or not but that’s what is goiing around.

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      “Fortunately, a new coalition calling itself the Colorado Health Research Council (CHRC) has surfaced to fight A-139, funded by the legal marijuana industry in CO. According to reports in The Cannabist, CHRC has raised more than $300,000 for its campaign against Amendment 139.”

      A legal industry can defend itself against this kind of nonsense.

    4. Nobody Special says:

      When will the prohibitionists finally get it and realize that this thing exists, including the knowledge and skill to refine? When will the finally get out of their own drunken stupor long enough to surmize they are only making violent criminals rich and powerful with each freedom they deny? When will they finally understand the difference between morals and ethics and see, ina brief moment of clarity, that it is THEIR thinking and behavior that has done so much irreparable harm? Where is their God when they decide to enact laws that result in murder and all manner of sinful largess? When will they beg for forgiveness over the thounsand and thousands of lives lost and destroyed with their own political agenda?

      I don’t know the answer. But I know that cognitive dissonance works when applied effectively and often. At every turn, I believe advocates should ask the question to opponents: why do you insist on prohibiting this activity when it has directly caused so much death, violence and corruption? Another excellent question: if your moral views caused 100,000 people to die, would you still be ethical in your views?

      Or another: is there no illicit market for this? Will your views co tribute to the violence or reduce it? How and why?

      Cognitive dissonance – even religious conservatives are experiencing it with this issue. Denial is tough, but with enough conversation even deniers come around in time. Keep up the good fight. Prohibitionists are as subtle as the Serpent. Truth will prevail in the e d.

    5. Wayne says:

      When will prohibitionists learn?

      Prohibition doesn’t stop behavior, it merely criminalizes it. Folks will always consume high quality weed, edibles and concentrates. If the legal market won’t supply these things, violent criminals will be happy to.

    6. John says:

      It wont pass, plain and simple.

    7. Mark Mitcham says:

      Talk about a buzzkill!

      I never cease to be amazed at the mentality of the people out there who will deliberately go way, way, way out of their way to be a dick! It’s like they’re trying to work their way up some satanic ladder or something, trying to become Dr. Evil himself!

      Because at this point, the science is so clear on the relative safety of marijuana with respect to any other ingestible substance, that you gotta ask — are they out of their fucking minds, or what?

      Anyway, thanks for the heads up — I’ll keep an eye out for the petitioners, and make sure NOT to sign it!

      There are a lot of petitions going around Denver right now… there’s NORML’s cannabis clubs; there’s a campaign finance reform petition circulating, there’s a right-to-die petition going around, and others; but all progressive type causes. Haven’t seen the A139 petitioners, and maybe that’s a good thing, because I’ll set up my CANNABIS CLUBS sign right next to them and go to war: give ’em an earful!

      “One-Three-Nine: A Waste of Time!” (That’s all I could come up with for now.)

      NO on A139!!

      • mexweed says:

        It’s a vulgar attempt to Trump our free wiki article “12 Easy Ways to Make 25-mg Vape Toke Utensils (Flexdrawtube Oneheaters) from $1.29 Worth of Everyday Junk Left Behind in Your Garage by the Previous God”.

    8. Anonymous says:

      You’re all looking at this the wrong way. Organized criminals have been out of work ever since marijuana was legalized. I recently read an article in Mafia Times that the unemployment rate of Mexican drug lords and their Youth Gang distributors is as an all time low. This has had a cascading effect, with the cost of illegal guns now having collapsed.

      If we regulate marijuana strength, there will be a unique market for high-grade marijuana. It’s a win-win, when you think about it.

    9. Anonymous says:

      I got incredibly drunk on accident off a 10 percent craft beer, thinking it was 3.2 and no 10…..lets limit that hypocrite juice and leave cannabis be what it is……. a bad ass medicine

    10. Concerned Citizen says:

      This is just a blatant attempt to sabotage Colorado’s cannabis industry.The question is why the arbitrary number 16% ? when this is being made by the same people that have claimed in the past;”we can’t legalize because we just don’t know enough about it” And now their suddenly experts,because “This isn’t the pot your parents smoked in college” which isn’t true.Your parents had good imports-plenty of strong Columbian and Thai weed back in the 70s/80s–but they have to go along with the false premise.

      There should be a compromise;a warning label,like with alcohol or pharmacy drugs.And maybe keep the concentrates in a locked glass case, like they do with the expensive liquor in grocery and drug stores.

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