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All Cannabis Use Is Medical
May 3, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

A 35 minute conversation on medical marijuana with Michael Backes.
posted by gman (19 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought that was a very interesting conversation. I like what he said about wide differences between the strains and that is the most frustrating thing about marijuana to me. I enjoy it as an occasional treat (I've never been much of a drinker) and I have probably imbibed 4-5 weekends worth over the last 2 years, but if I could find a batch of the white widow I was getting 5 years ago, It would be hard for me not to be a daily toker. That stuff was just so amazing, with such a small downside (no hangover, no fuzziness, no stupidity, etc...) But the last few times I tried it, the effects were so varied, from racy, to paranoid, to a fuzzy kind of sloppy feeling, that it is just not worth it to me. A lot of the new stuff just seems like hype to me, and it is stupidly overpriced. I don't care how goofy a name you came up with. Fuck that noise.
posted by puny human at 7:09 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's actually one of the most intellectual and information-packed pieces on marijuana I've seen. It's got history, law, science, technology, sociology, economics, biology... they traversed an amazing range of topics seamlessly. I definitely recommend watching the whole thing.

wow...
posted by lemuring at 7:12 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great interview, although it really makes me wish I could still smoke...

I found the part about how much drug testing companies make off tests and the fact that our prison system makes money off of keeping people in prison for silly possession crimes very depressing. I really hope those things change in order for it to one day be legal.
posted by fiestapais at 7:16 PM on May 3, 2011


It was very good! However the interviewer seemed a bit scattered, and interrupted Backes at times.
posted by Harpocrates at 7:27 PM on May 3, 2011


I like what he said about wide differences between the strains and that is the most frustrating thing about marijuana to me.

It is a frustrating problem, but here's why. It has a lot to do with prohibition.

The cloudy, heavy effects you're talking about are primarily from the types and ratios of cannabinoids found in an Indica strain. (For most people since people react differently to different ratios of the hundreds of different components.)

Indicas or indica hybrids have heavily dominated both the underground and medical markets for high quality flowers for the last 20 years or so. The reasons why are multi-faceted. One, indica grows faster in a smaller space lending itself more adaptable to high yield indoor growing, as opposed to, say, old Humboldt County's outdoor that used to be mostly larger, slower outdoor Sativa strains. Two, indica generally more "potent" as far as body high, pain-killing effects and getting, in the vernacular, "stoned". Which is great if you're actually a medical patient and need the pain relief and the munchies and don't really need to be able to think too much. And it's a hit on the underground market for the same reasons. You know you smoked it.

Conversely the lighter green sativas (White Widow being a sativa-heavy strain, and if I recall correctly is was some kind of weird cross breed to bring more of the sative genetics and supress the indica) are more traditionally known for having intellectually stimulating properties with less severe physical sensation or effects. The kind of stuff that makes you want to write music, clean the house, think deep but clear thoughts, make art without acquiring a nasty case of couchlock.

So the market has influenced the people who grow marijuana indoors to produce indica heavy highbrids for high yield in small spaces, maximum effects when consumed, etc.

Meanwhile, the market itself hasn't seen purebred sativas for so long it's been trained to prefer indicas. The more purple and heavy feeling the better.

The problem is is that pure bred sativa strains are now quite rare. And this is a function of prohibition making indoor electrical gardening less risky and more profitable than larger, slower outdoor plants. The economics of prohibition forced heavy hybridization and a nearly catastrophic loss of the sativa end of gene pool.

Combine all of that with prohibition making growing cannabis equivalent to making moonshine, people want the most bang for their buck, which has fueled the drive for ever more potent strains just like people would seek out the most high-proof moonshine for ease of portability and economic value.

So prohibition is why you can't find mellow, not too heavy, not too potent cannabis that doesn't give you couchlock or leave you too fuzzy. If it wasn't for prohibition you could grow your own in a small bucket on your porch as easy as letting the weeds grow.
posted by loquacious at 8:00 PM on May 3, 2011 [26 favorites]


I've known Backes for many, many years, had lost track of him in the most recent of those years, and just ran into this... amazing, but it doesn't surprise me, Michael is a very, very smart guy who was married to an interesting gal, and we were both seed sights for the original Power Macintosh, the only two individual users amongst the corporate seed customers, which made for some rather interesting meetings at Apple. And Michael might not be the only person in the news with an interest in pot...
posted by dbiedny at 9:43 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very interesting. I like the level of authority with which these people talk about the issues. Without claiming to be doctors or pharmacists, they sit down and have a solid intellectual conversation about smoking weed and seem to touch on just about everything.
posted by kuatto at 9:46 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


tylenol is not an NSAID, however.
posted by arveale at 10:06 PM on May 3, 2011


[Several comments removed, you don't actually have to go for the dumb low-hanging fruit in the first comment of a post, and you definitely don't need to keep swinging if people call you on it.]
posted by cortex at 10:13 PM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Coincidentally, I ran across this post immediately after indulging. I'm about half way through the interview and the only only ha-ha-I'm-high-that's-funny moment thus far is at 13:00 when the interviewer talks about his lungs looking like "crispy brown raisins". WTF. So anyway, the interviewer is a little tweaky for my taste but Backes is presenting himself as very knowledgeable and curious about marijuana.
posted by quadog at 10:34 PM on May 3, 2011


Yeah the interviewer seems baked, but Backes just stays calm and is full of fascinating information, e.g. the actual studies on the effects of cannabis at different doses. It's like a little step into a world where we can just talk about physical substances and the effects they have on our own bodies and minds in a factual, scientific way
posted by crayz at 2:03 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great discussion. The plant definitely needs more knowledgeable well-spoken defenders like Backes. The real trick is to get people who are actually on the fence about medicinal cannabis to watch this. Not sure how to achieve that, but I'm thinking the 35 minute investment is more than most people would tolerate. I'm completely in guy's corner and I wouldn't watch it before reading the "reviews" here on metafilter. I'd love to see this Backes on Charlie Rose rather than his stoned facsimile.
posted by Locobot at 3:38 AM on May 4, 2011


"What'd you go to weed college?"
posted by JibberJabber at 5:39 AM on May 4, 2011


However the interviewer seemed a bit scattered, and interrupted Backes at times.

There's a likely explanation for that...
posted by FatherDagon at 10:13 AM on May 4, 2011


There's a likely explanation for that...

Well yeah, the interviewer openly admits to having smoked recently, it doesn't detract from the discussion really though. Funnily enough, he actually keeps things on track a few times when Backes loses his train of thought.
posted by Locobot at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2011


Funnily enough, he actually keeps things on track a few times when Backes loses his train of thought.

Any well-seasoned marijuana user knows how to retrace one's mental steps to regain the thread which gets dropped during one of those stoned "what was I saying" moments.

You can tell the greenhorns by the way they're unable to do this.
posted by hippybear at 3:57 PM on May 4, 2011


according to Backes, the whole indica/sativa delineation is nonsense. Rather, there are different types of indicas (at least that's what I understood from the interview).
posted by spacediver at 8:26 PM on May 4, 2011


Yeah the interviewer seems baked

The interviewer is a self-admitted daily user, and from the interview I wouldn't be surprised if he were a daily user specifically because he was so highly strung. This was a fascinating discussion, though I would have appreciated more information about the negative effects, specifically in long-term daily usage.

Love the part @ 18:55 when Backes totally loses his train of thought.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:42 AM on May 5, 2011


I could find a batch of the white widow I was getting 5 years ago, It would be hard for me not to be a daily toker.

I have an excellent, reasonably priced source for white rhino, and I agree, it's pretty hard to find a reason not to ... The one obvious exception would be when I have to drive a car, although some people likely have stronger constitutions than I where that is concerned.

Ah, the other (major) limiting factor is budget. Prices have dropped quite a bit in the 2000s, but it's still at least $40/eighth.

I though the most interesting parts of the video were: 1) the explanation for the difference in effect when smoking vs. vaporizing; and 2) the notion that overdosing negatively affects medical use. #2 seems like (yet another) huge plus in marijuana as medicine, i.e. using it correctly reduces the chance of abuse.

according to Backes, the whole indica/sativa delineation is nonsense.

Worth it for that alone. I can't tell you how glad I was to hear that, and how often I will be repeating it. (I sure hope it's true! ^_^)

I don't care how goofy a name you came up with. Fuck that noise.

You're calling Cat Piss and Pineapple Dogshit goofy?!

The interviewer is a self-admitted daily user

Two conventional words that rarely get used for anything but marijuana use: "self-admitted" and "partake."

The part about the IRS and their profit motivation reminded me of The Pale King.

Finally, gravity bong != beer hat
posted by mrgrimm at 10:58 AM on May 9, 2011


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