Tag Archives: cannabis

Drug Policy Facts Podcast for 08-26-14: Research news plus the future of medical cannabis in WA.

26 Aug

This week: research on the impact of medical cannabis laws on opioid overdose deaths, and part two of our special coverage of Seattle Hempfest. It’s the drug policy facts podcast for August 26, 2014.

“Century Of Lies” Hempfest Special Part One From Drug Truth Network

19 Aug

The Drug Truth Network’s “Century Of Lies” for this week is Part One of our coverage of Seattle Hempfest. Give it a listen at http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4973 or download it directly from http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/audio/download/4973/COL081714.mp3.

Correcting NIDA Director Nora Volkow

29 Dec

The new Monitoring the Future Survey results for 2013 were released recently.

In discussing the new data in a video released on YouTube, Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said this: “If we compare the numbers that were, for example, in 2000 regular users, and now in 2013, we have seen increases in those numbers. But in 2000, at the 2000 level of 9 THC was at least half of the levels that we observe now, at least half. So that means that not just were there less kids taking the drug regularly, but even those that were taking it regularly were taking a much less potent drug.”

It almost sounded like she was asserting that THC levels have doubled but that’s not what she said. She did definitely assert that in 2000, cannabis was much less potent.

The short version of this report is, she was wrong. Way wrong. And this isn’t just some political hack, or an uninformed blogger. She’s the director of the government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, she’s supposed to be the science person on drugs. That’s not acceptable.

Here’s how badly she got it wrong. Let’s look at what’s known. I make these data available through my website at drugwarfacts.org, in the marijuana section, where you can find a table of average THC levels of seized samples of cannabis as reported by the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project.

These are the only data on this, they’re the same data Nora Volkow has. The Project stopped testing domestic samples a few years ago, the last domestic cannabis data are from 2010. Samples of non-domestic cannabis – imports from Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, and so many other countries – continue to be tested, but only preliminary data for 2012 are currently available.

Average THC potencies are given for two grades of cannabis: low-end commercial grade – what they call simply “marijuana” – and high-end sinsemilla-type cannabis. The overall combined average they report includes a few samples of ditchweed, so let’s just stick with specific data for those two types, and since 2010 is the last year with domestic data, let’s use it for comparison.

In 2000, non-domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 5.10% THC. The non-domestic sinsemilla type averaged 12.87%. Domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 3.96% THC, and domestic sinsemilla type averaged 12.72%.

In 2010, non-domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 6.69% THC. Non-domestic sinsemilla type averaged 12.81% THC. Domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 2.79% THC, and domestic sinsemilla type averaged 11.84%.

So only one category shows an increase in average potency from 2000 to 2010 is for non-domestic commercial grade cannabis – an increase of 31%, going from 5.1 to 6.69% THC. The others all show decreases, in fact the average THC of domestic commercial grade dropped by 29.5%.

Sure, there are fluctuations: In 2011, the average THC in non-domestic commercial marijuana was down to 5.6%, the average for non-domestic sinsemilla type was 13.47%. They stopped testing domestic samples in 2010, remember, and for what it’s worth those numbers were much lower in 2009, when domestic commercial averaged 2.43% THC and domestic sinsemilla type averaged only 7.37%.

So, Nora Volkow’s statement? Maybe not a flatout lie, but inaccurate and misleading at best.

Eventually, hopefully, we’ll get complete data for 2012, and when that’s available, you’ll find it at drugwarfacts.org.

Everything You Need To Know About Stoned Driving

25 Feb

My latest piece for CelebStoner has just been posted: <a href=”http://www.celebstoner.com/blogs/doug-mcvay/everything-you-need-to-know-about-stoned-driving.html”>Everything You Need To Know About Stoned Driving</a>.

From the story:

<blockquote>Drugged, or stoned, driving has been an issue of concern for several years. The Drug Czar’s office and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently joined together to make passage of such laws, including per se limits for blood THC levels, a legislative priority.

The success of marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington has pushed concerns over drugged driving to the forefront for many. Washington’s measure imposes a whole-blood THC limit of 5 nanograms per milliliter. Colorado’s measure did not have such a provision but some legislators in the Mile High State have been working for years to enact such a limit and had already announced plans to reintroduce their bill before November’s vote.
</blockquote>

Read more at: http://www.celebstoner.com/blogs/doug-mcvay/everything-you-need-to-know-about-stoned-driving.html

Link

New Ipsos MORI poll shows 53% of GB public want cannabis legalised or decriminalised, and 67% want a comprehensive review of our approach to drugs

19 Feb

New Ipsos MORI poll shows 53% of GB public want cannabis legalised or decriminalised, and 67% want a comprehensive review of our approach to drugs

New from the UK’s Transform Drug Policy Foundation – this is from the release:

A new poll by Ipsos MORI, commissioned by Transform Drug Policy Foundation, shows that over half of the public (53%) support cannabis legalisation (legal regulation of production and supply) or decriminalisation of possession of cannabis. Only 1 in 7 support heavier penalties and more being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences. In addition, the survey shows that around two thirds (67%) support a comprehensive independent review of all the possible policy options (from legal market regulation to tougher enforcement) for controlling drugs.

The findings indicate that 45% of mid-market newspaper readers (including Daily Mail and Express readers) support cannabis legalisation (legal regulation of production and supply) or decriminalisation of possession of cannabis, with less than one in five (17%) supporting heavier penalties and more being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences. For tabloid readers these figures are 47% and 20%. Around 65% of mid-market newspaper readers and 66% of tabloid readers support a full review of all drug policy options.

A PDF of the full poll results can be downloaded directly or via their blog.

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