Solution to synthetic marijuana killing people might be to legalize actual marijuana which does not


#1

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#2

The thing is… We have no evidence that (most of) the synthetic cannabinoid analogs are particularly toxic, but we do have evidence that when they’re mass manufactured in China, they have tons of toxic byproducts and are heavily adulterated with stuff that’s not supposed to be in them, like perfumes and stabilizers.

They’re much, much stronger than THC or CBD, and they tend to be full agonists, rather than partial agonists like THC, so they have different pharmacology, at least in the brain.

THC and other cannabinoids that occur in nature have proven to be medically useful in some cases. The next logical step is to explore the synthetic analogs and see if what other interesting biochemistry there is to discover. Hey, maybe there’s an analogous molecule that can totally prevent seizures and doesn’t have any cognitive side-effects! That’d be awesome!

I say legalize them all. Not just normal pot. All those research chemicals that are related to THC. People say that pharmaceutical companies are completely against legalization because they can’t patent weed, but the fact is, they don’t need to patent weed. It’s a chemical goldmine, and THC and CBD are just the starting point for research.

But yes, legalizing plain vanilla weed has already been shown to have many benefits to society.


#3

New designer drug!
Our children overdosing!
Chaos in the ghetto!

Have we ever been told this story before? Even when it’s true, it serves an agenda - and it’s not always true.


#4

Also, I suspect that the dosage/concentration of the stuff varies considerably. Some of these substances are strong enough that a dosage is in the milligrams. And this is assuming a uniform concentration which may not exist if it is mixed with anything else. I had a small jar bought from an online rc reseller. The first few times I measured out a small dose to vaporise, the experience varied from mild to fairly strong. Then, one time, I measured the same dosage and OD’d on it, I had a racing heart condition for a night where I knew I could very well have died. If I was less sturdy and athletic, I probably would have. That was enough for me, I don’t take the stuff anymore.

And yes, I took it because I missed weed, which I hadn’t been able to find since I moved to this state.


#5

I used to smoke spice when it was still legal and easily available.

I personally really loved the stuff, but, yes, it can be extreme. There’s high potential for panic attacks.

There’s been several times when I hit it, sat down, and basically had seizures for fifteen minutes. Fun seizures, but still scary. Had the racing heart and chest pains too… Personally I think that part was just a panic attack. But it’s just as likely that it was a physiological reaction.

I don’t recommend it. Unless you know exactly what’s in it (government regulation to the rescue. I mean, not everyone can afford a mass-spec rig), and how much, and what plant matter you’re smoking as well.


#6

As far as I know, the drugs themselves aren’t really problematic (and they are drugs, not just one, there’s hundreds of synthetic analogs, and they keep inventing more in order to skirt the law). It’s everything that comes with the drug, like perfumes so it smells nice, instead of like burnt rubber. Other things that cause problems are: the plants used in the smoking blend, which often produce really harsh and toxic smoke, binders and glues, because they need to keep the drug stuck to the plants. The solvents used to dissolve the drug for spraying onto the smoking blend (often some kind of heavy organic solvent, like N-Hexane, or benzene or other crap that they then try to boil off).

Basically, the illicit mass manufacture makes these drugs unsafe. It involves lots of stuff we know is super dangerous and bad for you, but we don’t really know exactly how toxic the actual drugs themselves are.


#7

I know that panic is always a possibility. I am quite experienced with a range of experimental and recreational drugs. So when this happened, I told myself that it was only a panic attack. But my heart rate was about 300 bpm, and I am in my 40s. It was a fine balance between relaxing enough to accept it, and not trying to stop a speeding train. Even after I finally got it under control for a while, my pulse raced two more times that night. I knew there was a chance I might not survive, but I had to try to “enjoy” it enough to eliminate further emotional stress.


#8

I totally get that.

I’ve had issues with tachycardia before, as has my (non-genetically related) dad, and his mom. So the three of us have actually all independently figured out some meditation and self hypnosis that seems to work well for a racing heart.

I don’t know if it’s actually effective in any way, but I definitely feel better when I do the meditation, and focus on the induction and relaxation.

It even, sorta, kinda, a little bit works for my migraines too. It doesn’t help the pain, so much as help me to separate it from my emotions, basically making the pain a little less emotionally salient for a while.


#9

I am experienced with sitting meditation, but it was mostly increasing the feeling of pressure in my chest, and was contributing to that “derailing a train” feeling of potential heart failure. I could not afford to make myself relax directly. I had to move, which basically meant doing this insane dance (I usually never dance) to work through it and basically just stay alive. I had to move fast enough to get the rest of my body to catch up with my accelerated heart rate, and then gradually reduce the rate of them together.


#10

HAH HAH HAH - we’re talking about the government, remember… The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Oh lord.

These people poison rivers to save the endangered fish.


#11

I tend to be skeptical of reports of terrifying drug-induced zombieism and/or rage virus; which seem to accompany quite a few novelties, and often fail to pan out under scrutiny(also reported, superhuman strength when attacking cops, mysterious predilection to die when tazed, animal lust for white women, etc.); but it is very, very, hard to imagine that people using they-know-not-what, as cooked up by some second string chemical supply house, cut to unknown purity and potency with an undocumented variety of odds and ends, and haphazardly administered; are getting particularly safe experience.

Extra credit if(as with athletic doping, where the use shifts to newer and more exotic techniques when the tests catch up with the older ones) the compounds that have some degree of actual field experience, if nothing resembling actual research, are getting banned as analogs and replaced by untested variants on a regular basis.

There are likely some relatively safe, potentially even quite useful, compounds in the mix; but one could hardly wish for a more ill-constructed testing arrangement. Even if you have the risk tolerance for it, it simply isn’t generating very much data. If users have no way of ensuring consistency between batches; and team medical has no way of figuring out what the user has been exposed to this time; everyone is just random-walking rather than arriving at at least locally optimal concoctions.


#12

That’s just crazy talk. We need the scary deaths in order to prevent the legislation of pot and the deaths it causes that we can’t document.


#13

And criminalize urinalysis. It’s a clear violation of the fourth amendment; asking someone for a jar of pee has to qualify as an unreasonable search. There sure aren’t many other situations outside the doctor’s office where it would be a reasonable request.

That’s a part of spice’s popularity–it doesn’t show up in a whiz quiz. Even here in Oregon, where we’ve been free to burn for the past nine days, employers are still allowed to demand a sample–and to fire you for exercising your new found rights.


#14

Completely agree. Basically, spice is suffering the same fate as krokodil. It’s not the drug and its effects that are special or dangerous. It’s the fact that it’s made out of drain cleaner and shaved sparklers and shit, and when the manufacturer is done, they don’t bother actually isolating the active compounds.

“Here’s your injectable codeine, try not to choke on the pH 4 buffer it’s dissolved in.”

It doesn’t “turn people into zombies” any more than any other injected opioids are. It’s just really gross because people are injecting what amounts to garbage juice so they can get high.


#15

There are tests out there for cannibinoid receptor agonists, but many places don’t use them. I think it highlights the “War on (some) Drugs” attitudes of an ironically pharmacologically-steeped culture. They typically test for the dozen-or-so compounds which they decide constitute a popular “social problem” and ignore the other many thousands which they neither know nor understand.

I had a workplace where the management often used “drugs” as a blanket excuse for some people’s poor work performance and/or personal problems. I asked the unpopular question of: “What’s the causal link, the relationship between the drug they are supposedly taking, and the behaviors you observe?” But the answer tended to be that it would confirm that the person in question was a certain kind of person. It was obvious that these people didn’t know anything about drugs, and instead would use them - or any other controversy - to influence others against those who they didn’t like.

When I had finally run afoul of these bozos, they then created rumors about me having substance abuse problems, which they indirectly confronted me on, to hear what I would say. Their brittle smiles cracked when I pointed out to them that one could be taking any of thousands of other drugs, and they would have no way to test or do anything about it. They decided that sending me to get piss tested would be a waste of money, but this didn’t stop them from spreading rumors about my vaguely unsavory “habits”. Eventually I pointed out to them that this was legally harassment, and they needed to either get me drug tested or shut up about it.


#16

Surely marijuana is still easy enough to produce and sell that its wider availability would not measurably discourage people from trying this stuff?


#17

Remember there’s a gap between 18 and 21. If you’re a 19 year old who wants to go out and get fucked up, you can go to the pot store, be carded at the door, and be SOL.

Or, you could go to the gas station a few blocks down the street, buy a package of “herbal incense” for $12, and get suuuuuuper wasted.


#18

Wasn’t the case with me. I have lived in other northeast cities and travelled a bit, but never had problems finding cannabis until I arrived at this suburban hellscape about 11 years ago. It’s also the first time I have lived anywhere and not met any friends at all. I guess I could wander around and ask strangers, but I think that wouldn’t be a good idea. Also, I was interested in trying the synthetics, because I knew they would be different (stronger but less varied).

The changing legal landscape also gets me thinking about a weird formality. What to do if one bought the stuff when it was legal, but now it isn’t? Would one be “grandfathered”? If the stuff was discarded and found by somebody, I imagine they might say that the person getting rid of it was liable (even though they wouldn’t be with rat poison). I know there are ways that the stuff could be discretely gotten rid of, but I wonder if there is a “legitimate” way to dispose of them.

Come to think of it, I also wonder how/why so many people get busted for selling “spice” or “bath salts” (LOL) when they almost always stipulate that they are “not for human consumption”. Legally, this is the factor which actually defines something being a drug, that it is sold for human consumption! Like how I can sell Chloroform as an organic solvent, but not an inhalant. I’d be interested to know what the DEAs basis of prosecution is supposed to be when going after sources/manufacturers of substances which are not even marketed as drugs for people. Like Ttokkyo, IIRC the DEA hit them even though their products were sold for veterinary use.

Tired rambling mode! Go to bed PopoBawa!


#19

A major problem for the DEA is the fact that weed is less harmful than alcohol, an incongruity that invites questioning of their authority and right to tax dollars.

The only solution is to make weed more harmful, to justify its prohibition.

Possible solutions:

  1. DEA needs to research plant viruses that affect weed, and then genetically modify one to insert a gene for the synthesis of a phototoxin that will scar the lungs of users

#20

I’ve read several science articles in respectable science journals about the antidepressant possibilities of Ketamine lately, and just yesterday heard an over the top radio article on the BBC about Ketamine zombies in China. Curious.