Where does the weed they use in all these studies come from? Is it legal?
It comes from Mississippi. The University of Mississippi has the only federally approved marijuana plantation in the country. And no, they’re not hiring. But for every study that gets approved to use the federal supply, there are many, many more that get denied. Thanks to U.S. laws to date, we’re more or less still in the dark ages of marijuana research. In January, The New York Times ran a story titled “Researches Find Studies of Medical Marijuana Discouraged.”
“If they wish to investigate marijuana,” reads the article, “researchers must apply to the National Institute on Drug Abuse to use the Mississippi marijuana and must get approvals from a special Public Health Service panel, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.” It also says, “Marijuana is the only major drug for which the federal government controls the only legal research supply and for which the government requires a special scientific review.” Seems like there might be some hidden agendas at work, eh? Or is pot really more dangerous than heroin, meth and crack?
Is weed today really more potent than it was 30 years ago?
The University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project has tested the levels of THC in over 65,000 pot samples obtained from drug raids around the country since 1975, depriving over 65,000 people from having the munchies, burning incense and listening to records loudly along the way. You can read the reports for yourself on whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, if you feel like sifting through pages of tables that are difficult to interpret. Or I could just tell you that, yes, weed really is more potent than 30 years ago, at least according to the sanctioned university that the U.S. Department of Justice uses as a source for their statistics (who also grow their own). In fact, if you look at a graph of marijuana potency through the years, the line starts at the bottom left and ends at the top right. The mid-‘70s samples were about 4-percent THC on average as opposed to more than double that now. Why did this happen? Improved cultivation techniques. The highest sample of high-grade weed yet found was an incredible 37.2 percent, which isn’t typical, but is apparently possible thanks to creative crossbreeding. Go science!
So when are we going to get medical marijuana legalized in Connecticut anyway?
Well, it just so happens we’re getting ready to elect a new governor in Connecticut on Nov. 2. The current governor, Jodi Rell, isn’t a fan of the herb, but her days in office are numbered. The two potential candidates are Tom Foley (R) and Dan Malloy (D). In this paper’s guide to the primaries (which ran on Aug. 8, 2010) Foley said that no, he does not believe we should legalize and tax marijuana. Malloy agrees that he doesn’t advocate legalizing and taxing marijuana, but he does support medical marijuana and decriminalization for small amounts (as is already the case in Massachusetts). So yeah. If you get your stoner ass off the couch and vote this year, you could be paving the way for a license to smoke legally as soon as next year. Or at least we may get decriminalization, in which case the worst that could happen if you get caught with a personal stash of weed is a $99 fine, instead of a trip to the clink.
Follow @HighConceptCT on Twitter or send all your weediest queries to email@example.com.