NY state leaders agree on medical marijuana pilot program


#1

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#2

So I guess Gov. Cuomo has invested in vaporizer companies . . .


#3

Cuomo's caveat – forbidding straightforward smoking – makes no sense. Vaping would be a somewhat acceptable alternative if it allowed loose leaf, but from the description, I'm guessing (admittedly, without having all the facts) that only e-cig-style cartridges would be permitted.

This is a serious shame, as there is a plethora of substances other than THC that contribute to the overall therapeutic effects. Forcing people to use edibles or a processed product guarantees that there will be more incidents of unintended "overdoses," and more grist for the anti-cannabis mill.

More significantly, it denies people the right to choose the course of treatment that is most efficient and humane for each individual's needs. Once again, politicians are elbowing in where they have neither the expertise or concern for facts needed to make an informed decision.

It seems their chief concern is that they won't be accused of letting people "smoke marijuana." How utterly myopic. One step forward, two steps back.

(However, if vaporization of unprocessed, loose-leaf marijuana is allowed, I would withdraw most of my objections. I simply don't know at this point exactly what is allowed under the program.)


#4

But will they be instituting the necessary inspection and testing to assure patients that the 'oil extracts' they're inhaling or eating are what they claim to be?

With raw herbal material, verifying the plant's identity is easy enough - you can see it, smell it, and taste it, and one or two hits are sufficient to verify potency and variety.

Marijuana is a complex herb. Its two primary cannabinoids, THC and CBD, are the prime components of the 'high' - THC gets you high and provides some of the medical effects, while CBD - not psychogenic on its own - alters the THC high, and provides even more of the medical effects

The plant contains many other cannabinoids and terpenes that may have medical benefits (but are very poorly studied, since they don't get anyone high), and all the constituents combined seem to create a "cohort effect" that produces synergistic effects not seen with individual components.

"Oil-based extracts" may have highly variable THC concentrations, highly variable THC/CBD ratios (and, indeed, may have no CBD at all!), may contain some or none of the other cannabinoids and terpenes, and may contain large amounts of CBN, a breakdown product that reduces the THC high and causes sedative effects.

Additionally, extracts may contain impurities from the extraction solvent (heavy metals and long-chain hydrocarbons), residual solvent, and other unknown contaminants.

And of course, they could contain one or more of the synthetic THC-analog cannabinoids that underground chemists have been playing with - some of them many times the psychogenic potency of THC, but with different effects and side effects, and with no centuries-long long record of safety and effectiveness.

Turning a longtime multi-substance herbal recreational drug into concentrated, refined, single- (or limited-) ingredient extracts, or modified or synthetic analogs, is a path fraught with danger - look at coca leaves vs. cocaine, morphine and heroin vs. opium, or even wine and beer vs. gin (see Hogarth, et al.).

Oil of Wintergreen is a candy flavoring, a useful medicament, or a deadly poison, depending on dosage and route of administration.

Marinol (synthetic single-ingredient oral THC capsules available by prescription for certain severe conditions) is less effective AND has far worse side effects than smoked herb. Ask the cancer-patient community in a medical-MJ state. They'll tell you.

Add the danger of contamination, the substitution of potentially hazardous, untested synthetic analogues, and all the other possibilities of inhaling vaporized extract of "Trust Me", and the elimination of the consumer's first line of defense - the ability to examine the raw material - begins to look less advisable than its proponents might think.

They're trading the dangers of smoking a natural herb for the dangers of inhaling or eating unknown, untested, unverifiable chemicals.

Personally, I know which one I'd rather risk.


#5

From the Times piece:

"The State Health Department would oversee the program, which would
contain a provision to “pull the plug” on it at any time, Mr. Cuomo
said. He called that necessary to protect public health and public
safety, adding that it 'increases my comfort level a great deal.'"

I'm just glad Cuomo is comfortable, because that's what medicine is about: making Andrew Cuomo comfortable. What a massive dickwad.

Here's more:

"Despite acknowledging its emotional pull, Mr. Cuomo said that he was
wary of allowing marijuana to become too widely or too easily available.
In recent days he said he feared that it was “a gateway drug,” and
observed that the state was already dealing with a resurgence of heroin
use."

What planet does Cuomo live on that he thinks marijuana isn't widely available and easy to get? Is he joking or just so out of touch he could be classified as deranged? And really? The old "gateway drug" meme? Seriously? I bet you anything Cuomo is a pill-head.


#6

Are any other permitted medicines regulated by the method of ingestion?


#7

Additionally, vaporizing is not a cheap investment. Smoking flowers is very easy and most people can afford it without any problems. Vaporizing is great and all, but NONE OF IT is very affordable, including loose-leaf vaporization.

Do you know how much vaporizers costs? And loose-leaf PEN vaporizing (as apposed to using the table vaporizers) isn't that great; the technology just isn't there, and you'd really need to instead purchase concentrates, which are more expensive than the flowers, and it's sometimes hard to determine the quality.

They just want to continue being able to arrest people for carrying a damn plant.


#8

They just want to continue being able to arrest people for carrying a damn plant.

Agreed, this is all just ridiculous. At least here in Colorado we've stopped monkeying around and you can buy it like you can the dangerous drug alcohol.

Do you know how much vaporizers costs?

Nope.


#9

Not everyone is that handy, and I'd question the efficiency of something hand-made by "hackers".

I know you're trying to be witty, but oooh ... "hackers" ...meh. smile


#10

Howay, there's few groups as inventive as dope smokers when it comes to knocking up equipment out of any old thing...


#11

I'd question the efficiency of something hand-made by "hackers".

Weird. Pretty much every product you use was made by them.


#12

"them". So vague. "Hackers" doesn't really tell me anything, either.


#13

Planet politics. It is rage-inducingly stupid rhetoric, but not so different of a facade than Obama pretending to have an "evolving" view of marriage equality to keep his more ignorant constituents from getting spooked.


#14

You know, those hackers. wink


#15

He's been a business man for more years than a hacker.


#16

I bet he can still knock up a bong, though.


#17

Yeah but that's not a "hacker" thing -- that's a "bored stoner" thing.


#18

I know nothing about medicinal what have you, but I can say the best high comes from a rolled joint. This is my personal experience, of course. Vaporizers deliver only part of the high and pipes, bongs also deliver a stunted version that is more prone to causing head aches and the blahs for dessert. Residue, I mean extracts, is just the dealer getting the last dime from the plant. Smoke good bud in rolled joints for the best and cleanest high. Anyone recommending extracts instead of herb has fallen into a pseudo-scientific trap of their own making.

Get over the decades of mis-information. None of the pot heads I know are lazy or unambitious. Quite the contrary, but I hang with creative types not engineers.


#19

So homemade craft beer enthusiasts participate in a "bored alcoholic" thing? wink


#20

Vaporizers deliver only part of the high

How do you figure?