Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Careful what you read

It seems these days everyone wants to be The Onion or Borowitz Report, circulating tantalizing stories for gullible readers.  Marlboro "M cigarettes" continue to make the rounds, even though Snopes dismissed it as a joke recirculated on Abril Uno earlier this year.  It probably won't be long before Big Daddy Tobacco stakes out a claim to growing marijuana market, which is reaping in respectable profits in Colorado and Washington.  Growth and distribution of cannabis sativa remains tightly controlled, limiting its profitability.  However, as more states join the legalization drive one can expect such restrictions to diminish and Philip Morris to join the bandwagon.

In the meantime, a number of speciality brands have cropped up, including Willie's Reserve, marketed by Willie Nelson himself.  You figure it won't be long before one of the most famous stoners of all time has his brand.  Tommy Chong has been busy experimenting with his version of pre-roll joints for distribution.  But, it remains mostly a cottage industry, withe connoisseurs focusing on the right blend of smoothness and THC content.

Many persons worry about the potency of marijuana in this exclusive market.  THC levels are reaching as high as 30 per cent in some legal brands, which is some very serious weed.  It wouldn't take much to tilt you over the edge.  No doubt, states will eventually control THC levels the same way they do alcohol content, driving the higher potency strains underground.

Ironically, it has been the prohibition of marijuana that has led to these high THC levels as persons were forced to grow their sensimilla indoors, where it could be more closely engineered to give the desired effect in less bulk, increasing pleasure and profit.  Many local marijuana strains are as strong or stronger than hashish, long considered to give the greatest buzz.  Some persons are processing local marijuana in the same way, reducing it to a resin to pack a greater punch.  

The problem with any drug is that your body develops tolerances over time and you need more THC content to gratify your pleasure.  I suppose one could argue that marijuana is addictive in this sense, but it is not physically addictive like tobacco or alcohol or even coffee for that matter.  It doesn't matter as far as the anti-legalization advocates are concerned.  Pot remains a gateway drug in their mind, pointing to studies like this one, and therefor should remain illegal.

However, this doesn't diminish marijuana's medicinal uses, more of which are being discovered each year.  Even the FDA has been forced to recognize its benefits, although it continues to support the federal prohibition. 

Of course, many of our presidential candidates would like to see the federal government enforce this policy over pesky states like Colorado and Washington as well, much as the federal government enforced speed limits for the longest time, tying it into federal transportation funding basically as a form of extortion.  One wonders how the GOP candidates square this type of Big Government with their long held state rights views?  

In the meantime, pot smokers will have to content themselves by traveling to a handful of states if they want to smoke pot freely in public.  Much of the fun comes in experimenting with the many strains of marijuana to find what suits your particular taste.  Something you could only once do at Amsterdam coffee houses.  Still, you have to be careful whether you are on state or federal land, as federal officers will enforce federal laws, as they do at national parks.


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