The Potential Political Impact of Dabbing, Concentrates and Edibles

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel June 23, 2014

    Like many marijuana smokers, I’m always fascinated when I travel to other states, especially on the West Coast, and see the popularity of edibles and concentrates, especially the somewhat bizarre practice of “dabbing.”

    Now let me be clear that I enjoy getting high, and I’m generally willing to try any variation of marijuana, at least once, just to see what it’s about. So I’m not making a moral judgment on the use of these more potent forms of marijuana. I will also concede that I personally love smoking flowers, and prefer the quality of a flower high to that of the concentrates.

    But that’s simply a personal preference shaped by decades of rolling and smoking joints. I’m an old guy and somewhat set in my ways.

    What I want to discuss in this column is the potentially adverse political fallout from the increasing popularity of these newer, more potent forms of marijuana. Specifically, I want to sound the alarm that the perceived abuses of edibles and concentrates have the potential to undermine the powerful political momentum we have achieved for full legalization, by frightening many of our supporters–particularly the non-smokers–and causing them to reconsider their positions on cannabis reform.


    45 responses to “The Potential Political Impact of Dabbing, Concentrates and Edibles”

    1. Tom Milks says:

      I am of the opinion tha with these stronger concentrated forms being available. The “typical stoner” stereotype will be pushed to the forefront again… destroying the legitimacy of all the hard working people who enjoy cannabis in a responsible way while being active and prominent members of their community.

    2. TheOracle says:

      The last thing we want is the government setting a maximum limit and making any % above it illegal like Minister Opstelten and his 15% garbage. This reminds me of pure ethyl grain alcohol versus low alcohol content consumption so far as putting a scare into the public and having them back off supporting an issue.

      That being said, use of just the flowers should be what is encouraged, especially for beginners and those out of practice who used to have a high tolerance and think they can still handle it. Same thing for cannabis edibles. I’m not against dabbing and would prefer people use personal responsibility to use it responsible so we don’t have Maureen Dowd repeats with dabbing and edibles. If you can handle it, take it easy and fire it up, take a bite, use informed consumption and responsible practices.

    3. David Conner says:

      this is what i’ve been sayin for like over a year now. jeez! lol. i mean you don’t need a blowtorch to smoke a joint for christ sakes. and we shouldn’t open ourselves to attacks about explosive butane and “drug labs”. sorry, i’m just concerned that BHO will be used against our movement. to someone who is not used to drug culture, seeing videos of people dabbing would be appalling.

      it’s not like these attacks will be realistic, but i can totally see how the drug warriors are going to play this out. and it’s likely that the DEA, NIDA and ONDCP **want** this stuff promoted so they have something to attack later. and i’m guessing they are using narcs to promote this stuff as a sort of psyop.

      I’m not saying dabs should be illegal, but that we should be careful in how this stuff is publicized. honestly the stuff is too strong for me. weed is plenty good enough.

      edibles are great though, when used within reason. this is my preferred means of ingestion, as it makes me feel good, without affecting my head too much. it’s especially good for my back pain. and it is *only* availabled practically within a legalized system. if i have to obtain ounces of pot and spend hours making cannabutter, i’m sorry that’s not practical for me. i just want to buy a chocolate bar that’s been made by experienced people who know what they’re doing.

    4. Fireweed says:

      I am a staunch supporter of all forms of cannabis being legalized for adults, and I love the idea of edibles. However, unlike a dried bag of weed, a child is likely to come across a box of edibles and think it’s Russell stover chocolates and down 4 or 5. I don’t know that there would be any long term damage, but I can see a harrowing visit to an er coming from these, and when that happens, that will be all the naysayers will need to “prove” how deadly pot is. there needs to be something in place to address this risk with the edibles. Maybe a childproof container.

    5. Robert Groom says:

      I agree with the Oracle, some are more powerful than others like grain alcohol compared to beer. The butter I make is from just plain shake, whereas I’ve had brownies made with the keef, and that shit was hardcore even for myself who has used medicinals my whole adult life. Personal responsibility, taste and moderation should always be practised no matter what the subject.

    6. Ezry says:

      I think the choice should be the consumer. The strength of the concentrates are a good way to Incorporate it into foods, I would have to smoke in its raw form (when legal for me), due to a sensitivity to the strength that i can easily adjust for me.

    7. Ephraiyim says:

      For some of us smoking is not an option. I have a history of bronchitis and would much prefer edibles to smoking.
      And since when is it anyone’s business what form a person chooses. I have become deeply disappointed in NORML for cowtowing to government in order to get some form of legalization.
      This idea of saying you will go along with taxing cannabis so it can be legalized only perpetuates the drug war. With an added tax burden of up to 40 or 50% many cannot afford legal cannabis and are forced into the black market.
      Whether edible or smokable we should not be giving in to tyrannical governments. Better to smoke or eat what is illegal than pay these bastards.

      [Editor’s note: Kowtowing to the government? NORML?! You complain about cannabis being taxed (and those monies actually benefiting society…), but what about the outrageous cost of cannabis because of prohibition itself? Cannabis should not cost $200-$500 per ounce for consumers or patients–Cannabis is a pennies on the pound agricultural crop absent the government’s failed prohibition in place.

      But, you’d rather have the government keep arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis producers and consumers en mass rather than pay a vice tax on retail cannabis sales on par with alcohol and tobacco?

      Talk about being a ‘bastard’! What is worse, a short sighted and cheap cannabis consumer who supports the status quo of prohibition or anti-cannabis zealots who believe that cannabis use is a moral turpitude? Really, which is worse to keep prohibition going long after a majority of the country wants legalization?]

    8. Dennis E Strausser Jr says:

      I don’t know if concentrates hurts us, or helps us. I do know, public opinion has started to shift.
      Keeping it simple.
      I believe all drugs should be legal. Not because I have any interest in using them, but because a law against them, doesn’t stop people from using them. Smart people will still not use those certain *hard drugs* as the way it is now. It won’t change the number of people who still use. Laws against what we are allowed to place in our own bodies, will never work. People will use and abuse drugs until world’s end. Even as a republican, I feel the system is not working. Laws can be made to change this, and I believe it’s time to reconsider, not only the Marijuana laws, but all drug laws.

      I hope, that public opinion remains, even with the Eatables and Concentrates. Legalization will probably come slow, but it is coming. And probably will be here in as little as 10 years. They will probably hopefully just regulate the concentrates a little harder, like liquor. Although, I doubt for some reason, you can oversmoke yourself to death, on even concentrates. I get to a point, which I can no longer smoke anymore. It sometimes takes me half an hour, just to come down enough, to be able to smoke more.
      I have a feeling, concentrates would get me there, in a single toke. :D. Definitely wouldn’t complain. Of course, I believe I would sometimes rather get to smoke a little more, just to enjoy the smoking itself. Which in a way sounds funny. I do not enjoy smoking tobacco. I try a tad bit every now and then while drunk, and I can’t stand it. It is one of the worst tastes there is. But cannabis, I enjoy the smoke. So, I guess we’ll just see, if they legalize here, which I like better.

      Probably, the regular herbs, as I can enjoy smoking more. (Cannabis that is.)

    9. peacemode says:

      I Believe these forms can still be used for Medicinal purposes. These are concentrates. If a patient needs CBD’s he can concentrate just that. so in the event he/she does not have enough time to sit an smoke a full dosage of flowers he could take a few puffs of the concentrate and medicated a lot quicker.

      Of course you will always have those who take things to far. That is just people. There is nothing we can do about that. Its life. Some people just take things to far. others can sit back and enjoy. It is on the person what they do. Society should never be blamed for one persons mistake

    10. Mike says:

      I use topical concentrates often, they help me better than pills without the bad side effects.