Skip

Why?
October 7, 2013 1:27 PM   Subscribe

The world's most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first "global snapshot" of four decades of the war on drugs. To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time. Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they're also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
posted by mannequito (96 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'll be back in a little while.
posted by box at 1:27 PM on October 7, 2013 [18 favorites]


You're unharshing my mellow, man.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:30 PM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Cannabis purity," eh? Does that mean that the number of dime bags full of kitchen herbs has decreased?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:30 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait, really? Pot is cheaper than in the 90s? I may have to start smoking pot again!
posted by Mister_A at 1:32 PM on October 7, 2013


Does that mean that the number of dime bags full of kitchen herbs has decreased?

Naw, they're talking about "purity and/or potency".
posted by Hoopo at 1:32 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Certainly some of the skunk around is ridiculously potent. Too much.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:34 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


So they're assuming that "pure" weed is just a bag of THC?
posted by 256 at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those of you who (like me) were going crazy trying to find a link to the "accompanying podcast" referenced in the BMJ Open snapshot (second link), you can listen to it here.
posted by mykescipark at 1:38 PM on October 7, 2013


I'm glad to see that we were able to pursue the War on Drugs with the same cool aplomb, thoroughness, and resounding success as the dust-up in Vietnam it was originally meant to distract us from.
posted by localroger at 1:39 PM on October 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


mannequito: "After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high."

Since this is the result of our tax dollars at work, it seems excellent proof of the capacities of The Entrepreneurial State
posted by chavenet at 1:40 PM on October 7, 2013


Yes, but increases in thinking about the children has gone up a whopping 987%.
posted by bondcliff at 1:40 PM on October 7, 2013 [30 favorites]


Certainly some of the skunk around is ridiculously potent. Too much.

I read an article somewhere, I think probably linked from MeFi about the growing demand for "regs" AKA marijuana that isn't insanely potent, but still has a decent taste/smell/high.
posted by cell divide at 1:40 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


But imagine how potent drugs would be now WITHOUT the war on drugs!
posted by mrnutty at 1:41 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll drink to that.
posted by jquinby at 1:42 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time.

I agree that the War on Drugs is pretty much an abject failure, but it seems weird to try and quantify just how bad a failure it has been by looking at drug purity. I don't think one of the goals of the WoD was to "Keep drugs shitty." The price thing is much more damning.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:43 PM on October 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


now is the greatest time in history to get high

What, right now? But I have stuff to do. Can I reschedule?
posted by elizardbits at 1:45 PM on October 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


The price thing is only damning because the purity has gotten so much better. Not only are drugs cheaper than ever, they're also more potent than ever.
posted by monospace at 1:47 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Still a red herring.

$/g of the chemical is the only real metric. And it's dropped dramatically, (probably in part) thanks to the War on Drugs.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:51 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know all about those X is Y% cheaper numbers, but in the 1990's, one couldn't walk into a dispensary in the US and get legal cannabis, unless you were that one guy who could.

Allegedly, in 2014 I can walk in to a Colorado dispensary and with no medical permission, legally purchase marijuana to use.

My parents and their old pot smoking college buddies from the '60s are penciling in a reunion up there. I can't wait to hear all about them not being able to take it. This dispensary stuff is insanely strong.
posted by Sphinx at 1:51 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can one of you pot heads settle something for me? My wife and I have these neighbors who smoke this really foul smelling weed. Specifically, it smells like skunk, only worse because I've never lived next to anyone who decided to spray his pet skunk everywhere and play Call of Duty at really high volumes every night.

Anyway, the dispute that needs settling is: is this good or bad pot? My wife maintains that it's probably bad because it smells bad, but this doesn't make any sense to me. I'm guessing it's probably decent. Is there any correlation between the quality of the marijuana and how much it smells like skunk in either direction?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:53 PM on October 7, 2013




I'll join the impromptu ask session with : If you do an MD-PhD at some university that offers MAs instead of MSs in you PhD subject, and you finish the MD first, and they let you take the MA degree before finishing the PhD, does that make your official title MD-MA?
posted by jeffburdges at 1:56 PM on October 7, 2013 [16 favorites]


Certainly some of the skunk around is ridiculously potent. Too much.

You can have less of it at a time, problem solved! Or... maybe problem back on, depending on your point of view I suppose.
posted by Hoopo at 1:58 PM on October 7, 2013


This dispensary stuff is insanely strong.

Weed, in general, is stupidly potent anymore. I suppose that's possibly considered a "good thing" if your intent is to keep its use "medical". But, from a casual enjoyer's point-of-view, it's not even fun.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:58 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos, do you live on the other side of my neighbour? 'cause I swear, you've just described that jackass. I so wish he'd buy a fucking vapourizer.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:59 PM on October 7, 2013


Has grass got purer or has bouquet garni got too expensive to pad it out?
posted by MuffinMan at 2:00 PM on October 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


%&*$@# random testing.
posted by headnsouth at 2:01 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like the Esquire's "Living in cities is so horrible of course people are going to take things."
posted by yoHighness at 2:02 PM on October 7, 2013


Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time

Isn't this as though it was only possible to buy 25% ABV "beer"? As a beer drinker, I would consider that bad news.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:03 PM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can one of you pot heads settle something for me?

I don't know. Can I call you "Alcoholic?" Okay, just giving you some shit, but come on dude. We're people too.

Anyway, the dispute that needs settling is: is this good or bad pot? My wife maintains that it's probably bad because it smells bad, but this doesn't make any sense to me. I'm guessing it's probably decent. Is there any correlation between the quality of the marijuana and how much it smells like skunk in either direction?

If he is a stoner, just knock on the door and talk to him. Unless he's doing amphetamines and/or drinking heavily, he'll probably switch his strain or install some filters for you. Just imagine that he's a human being, and he also enjoys smoking weed. (Okay, I'm done!)

As far as bouquet goes, I have had very strong stuff that smelled awful, and vice versa. The most popular strains are typically very complicated, fruity, and bubbly as well as being potent. But, I do know some people who just don't like the smell of cannabis at all. In any case -- in my experience, at least -- typically the bouquet is representative of the quality, but not always.

You should also see if he's mixing it in... I know some people who buy cheap cannabis and mix it with tobacco, sometimes flavored, or in flavored blunt wraps. Not really my thing, but that kind of smell can get out of hand in a hurry.
posted by tripping daisy at 2:03 PM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Illegal Commerce is Unregulated Commerce. (The whole 'getting arrested and going to jail' thing is just a risk of doing business) The drug kingpins are the ones who truly have "Gone Galt".
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:04 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "I used to do this when I was in high school" is a very, very bad thing to say right before you sample the insanely powerful weed that's available these days. Sitting in a cafe for an hour whileyou and your friend stare silently at one another in terror is not my idea of "fun." Not that I would know of course, this is pure speculation.

seriously though don't ever try anything named with the [color] + [animal] convention
posted by 1adam12 at 2:07 PM on October 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


In a country in which millions of tons of cargo cross our border every year, it is impossible to totally prevent smuggling.

And the drug syndicates have had decades to figure out what works.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:07 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rock Steady: "I don't think one of the goals of the WoD was to "Keep drugs shitty.""

I'd imagine it'd be a tight correlation though-- people like drugs, so if the war on drugs makes it harder to get decent quantities of the stuff into the country, then either prices are going to skyrocket or the drug dealers are going to have to cut it with something-- or most likely, do both to try and keep the price as low as possible.

So if the WoD was winning, you'd expect to both see high prices and relatively poor drugs. That we're actually seeing cheap, good quality drugs just seems to double hammer down the point that it's a bit of a farce.
posted by Static Vagabond at 2:08 PM on October 7, 2013


Did you ever look at your public policy failures? I mean, really look at them?
posted by thelonius at 2:09 PM on October 7, 2013 [31 favorites]


"I used to do this when I was in high school" is a very, very bad thing to say right before you sample the insanely powerful weed that's available these days.

FOR SERIOUS. The last time A Person I Know got high it was more high than A Person I Know had ever been all previous high times combined and A Person I Know threw up spectacularly and spent the rest of the evening really mad at everyone else who was having fun.
posted by elizardbits at 2:10 PM on October 7, 2013 [14 favorites]


Hahaha, what a stupid person, whoever they are!
posted by Mister_A at 2:12 PM on October 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


they are the worst
posted by elizardbits at 2:13 PM on October 7, 2013 [19 favorites]


So even if someone - let's call him or her Master_I – smoked a fuckton of (for the time) high-quality weed up til about 2000, this person should still watch his or her step most closely?
posted by Mister_A at 2:15 PM on October 7, 2013


Chocolate Pickle: "In a country in which millions of tons of cargo cross our border every year, it is impossible to totally prevent smuggling.
And the drug syndicates have had decades to figure out what works.
"

The vast majority of the dispensary product is grown if not locally, then regionally.

You'd be surprised how simple it is to grow a couple/forty plants of unbelievably strong marijuana if you're not worried about the cops showing up. Then you just clone that off, and you're growing three or four crops a year. It ain't rocket science.

These guys aren't drug syndicates, they're more like local farmers. Although I heard the smart money is on hops, what with all the craft beer stuff.
posted by Sphinx at 2:16 PM on October 7, 2013


elizardbits: "The last time A Person I Know got high it was more high than A Person I Know had ever been all previous high times combined and A Person I Know threw up spectacularly and spent the rest of the evening really mad at everyone else who was having fun."

That's weird! This also happened to Someone I Know. This poor person was stoned well into the next day and was quite surprised by this turn of events. We must know some of the same people.

Mister_A: "...this person should still watch his or her step most closely?"

Someone I Know would hypothetically advise caution should such a question come up. Best to consult someone knowledgeable on the State of Things.
posted by jquinby at 2:18 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I let my prescription lapse because I was tired of the panic attacks. I would be so happy to find something that allowed one middling toke to give you the giggles and make food taste better. Or an edible that, if one consumed half of it, made you chill out and maybe sorta sleepy.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:20 PM on October 7, 2013


I know people who smoke pot are people, I said potheads mostly as a joke. I wouldn't have taken offense of some said "hey alcoholic answer this question about bourbon," but I'm sorry if it read as offensive.

Also the one time we've talked about it, he just wanted to talk about buying gold and 9/11 truther theories, so that was less than successful.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:24 PM on October 7, 2013


A friend of mine recently smoked for the first time in ages. He noticed that the high lasted much longer than it did in college (early 2000s) when he was living in Portland, OR, a state noted for the availability of potent strains (some so potent that when he was working with some classmates on a problem set and their baggy fell open, the room smelled like it had been hot boxed).

This friend further advises that one start with amounts much much smaller than you used to consume before. He cautions even more for people who were only occasional smokers in college (how some of those people graduated is beyond him). Seriously, take a small hit, see what the effects are, then think about that monster huffing you used to do to pull in as much smoke as possible.

My friend is in New York, and while this is a city where anything can be delivered, the impression he had while on the west coast was that the potency of the pot on the east coast was much less than the west. If that is the case, he wonders how anyone can smoke at all on the west coast. He acknowledges it could simply be PNW snobbery, but is convinced this is not the case.
posted by Hactar at 2:27 PM on October 7, 2013


> Anyway, the dispute that needs settling is: is this good or bad pot?

This is like a variation of the AskMe standard, "Can I eat this?" In this case, I'll need you to send me a sample of said pot, so I can send it to my "lab" for testing. I'll, uh, get back to you with results.
posted by mosk at 2:30 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


query: is talking about our Friends Who Totally Aren't Us required by the rules, or are we being cute as a group? i want to know before i say anything about anyone i might know or be
posted by titus n. owl at 2:38 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


what with all the craft beer stuff.

Craft beer has gone insane. My friend Tony is right now touring with a "Beerliner" a converted schoolbus full of taps and kegs of nothing but craft beers. His job is actually "Beer Ambassador," which beats the hell out of anything on my resume.

Dare we hope for a "Smokeliner" someday?
posted by emjaybee at 2:42 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that the "war on drugs" has never been waged to eradicate drugs/drug use. It has been a rationale for heavily policing/repressing certain sectors of society (black and latino underclass) and for expanding foreign military interventions in regions where the US has political and economic interests. Hopefully this idiotic war and the catastrophic policies that have been implemented as a result will end, along with the other idiotic war on a concept.
posted by nikoniko at 2:57 PM on October 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also the one time we've talked about it, he just wanted to talk about buying gold and 9/11 truther theories, so that was less than successful.

He's definitely smoking the cheap shit, or at least the wrong strain for him. He's paranoid and delusional.
posted by tripping daisy at 3:05 PM on October 7, 2013


All of the product at my dispensary lists its THC and CBD ratios, and I know it is not the only dispensary on the planet that does so. The high-CBD strains I get for pain don't make me loopy unless I smoke a ton of it (which, why would I, since I could just get some high-THC stuff for that). Their edibles have the same kind of info on the label, and if anything is puzzling you, you can ask the staffer and they will help.
posted by rtha at 3:15 PM on October 7, 2013


Has Cannabis Been Secretly Genetically Modified to Render it More Dangerous?
Very interesting and likely idea: if drugs are grown secretly, and their content has changed radically, who's to know if the gangs haven't been indulging in genetic modification? After all, they're big enough to own subs, jumbos, labs and, at one point, a West African country...
posted by maiamaia at 3:15 PM on October 7, 2013


The problem is, the public had bought PR regarding the motives of the Drug War, with all features like suckers. Here are the actual report card results:

Keep drugs out of people's hands: D-
Keep drug use to a minimum: F
Improve quality of life and discourage use in addicts: F-
Keep purity of drugs low: Withdrew course
Commandeer tax money for law enforcement: B+
Expand US's influence in Latin America to combat Socialism: B
Increase revenue for military contractors and private prisons: A-
Dismantle stability and influence of minority populations: A+
Scare old people so they will allow infringement of civil liberties: A+

So, if you're the wealthy elite, the Drug War deserves a congratulatory ice cream Sundae

(On review, what nikoniko said)
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 3:21 PM on October 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


now is the greatest time in history to get high.



That's always true, regardless of the time or date.
posted by spitbull at 3:25 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]



Has Cannabis Been Secretly Genetically Modified to Render it More Dangerous?


What a wonderfully specious piece of clickbait. HuffPo you have outdone yourselves.
posted by elizardbits at 3:27 PM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


The weed is too damn high
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:37 PM on October 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


For real, pacNW weed is insanely stupid. There's a real need for session weed.
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:38 PM on October 7, 2013


query: is talking about our Friends Who Totally Aren't Us required by the rules, or are we being cute as a group?

Not so much of a rule here, but I think that over the years people have been leery about admitting to drug use on the internet. A few years back I was deep into a Google search about something else (honest!) and found myself on a drug forum. All of the anecdotes started with the phrase SWIM. It took a little while to realize that all of the stories about crazy mushroom trips were about Someone Who Isn't Me.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:48 PM on October 7, 2013


All of the product at my dispensary lists its THC and CBD ratios, and I know it is not the only dispensary on the planet that does so. The high-CBD strains I get for pain don't make me loopy unless I smoke a ton of it (which, why would I, since I could just get some high-THC stuff for that). Their edibles have the same kind of info on the label, and if anything is puzzling you, you can ask the staffer and they will help.

This has been, uh, SHIM's experience with dispensaries in the SF Bay Area, but not in SoCal. Assuming pot becomes legal on a federal level one day I expect there will be potency information listed on containers just like there is for bottles of alcohol now.

I'm not sure why folks can't just smoke less, though, if what they feel the product they have is overly potent. Smoke it as if it were hash.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 3:57 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


For real, pacNW weed is insanely stupid. There's a real need for session weed.

I was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago.

The price of the weed varied from 5e a gram, to 15e a gram, with the cheap weed being outdoor stuff like Skunk #1 and imported Thai and Jamaican, and the expensive stuff being the indoor, Dutch-grown high THC hybrids.

The prices of the hash were even more variable. You could buy cheap moroccan for 5e a gram, or expensive ice extractions or wax for as much as 85e a gram.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:16 PM on October 7, 2013


> is talking about our Friends Who Totally Aren't Us required by the rules, or are we being cute as a group?

I've never been aware of this site forbidding people from describing their experiences getting high.

Many people are conscientiously trying to avoid self-incrimination. Some people are talking cute.
posted by ardgedee at 4:35 PM on October 7, 2013


The war on drugs is bad and all, but what I most want to complain about is the chronic* misuse of the term 'snapshot' in research papers. If your report has time-series data in it, it isn't a snapshot. That's not what the word means.

(also for everyone complaining that modern pot is too strong, why can't you just smoke less of it to obtain the same effect? genuine question.)

*lol
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 4:40 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that the "war on drugs" has never been waged to eradicate drugs/drug use. It has been a rationale for heavily policing/repressing certain sectors of society (black and latino underclass) and for expanding foreign military interventions in regions where the US has political and economic interests. Hopefully this idiotic war and the catastrophic policies that have been implemented as a result will end, along with the other idiotic war on a concept.

A cynical person would point out that the War on Drugs stopped being a priority right about at the time that the War on Terror started providing much more convenient excuses for the Military-Industrial Complex's latest output and for various foreign military adventures.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:40 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stronger weed is merely annoying, but stronger coke is dangerous and stronger heroin is downright deadly.

A couple of my friends have ended up with much more pure junk than they were expecting, with results ranging from hospitalization to death.

Needle exchanges should be everywhere and a couple doses of Narcan should come with each one. This will never happen, but it sure would be neat.
posted by poe at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


* And by 'friends' I mean 'people who I couldn't trust after they started seriously using'. So in this case I'm not being cute.
posted by poe at 4:43 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Potency has definitely gone up, but what has really changed from the illicit model is that you now have control over variety. I think this is why people who may've just had some of whatever was around in the past find it so incredibly strong and off-putting the first time they try something from a dispensary. With most dispensary strains, it's the equivalent of diving into your casual beer with a Dogfishhead 90 Minute IPA. You have to ease into it and find your niche or it's going to be overwhelming.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:07 PM on October 7, 2013


Just learned a character named Molly Monster exists. Almost as funny as Puff, the Magic Dragon.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:41 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why folks can't just smoke less, though, if what they feel the product they have is overly potent. Smoke it as if it were hash.

For the same reason my friend prefers a nice cocktail or two instead of a shot of everclear.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:46 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why folks can't just smoke less, though, if what they feel the product they have is overly potent. Smoke it as if it were hash.

For the same reason my friend prefers a nice cocktail or two instead of a shot of everclear.


As a youngun, I am so very curious whenever I hear these conversations. Is the weed available today something that would have absolutely bowled my parents over? If so, why is it that all the young folks I know don't seem to find it terribly remarkably strong? What would our generation make of yesteryear's weed?
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:50 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


> The war on drugs is bad and all, but what I most want to complain about is the chronic* misuse of the term 'snapshot' in research papers. If your report has time-series data in it, it isn't a snapshot. That's not what the word means.

The researchers don't call it a "snapshot" anywhere in their paper. Not sure where it came from, but not from them. Their title was "The temporal relationship between drug supply indicators: an audit of international government surveillance systems."
posted by gingerbeer at 5:52 PM on October 7, 2013


Is the weed available today something that would have absolutely bowled my parents over?

Yes: The average potency of all marijuana in the US, according to the UMPMC's Dec. 2008 – Mar. 2009 quarterly report, was 8.52% (5.62% domestic and 9.57% nondomestic).

The highest tested sample had 22.04% THC (domestic) and 27.30% THC (nondomestic). The highest tested sample ever tested between 1975 and 2009 had 33.12% THC (domestic) and 37.20% THC (nondomestic).

For comparison, the national average of marijuana's THC content in 1978 was 1.37%, in 1988 it was 3.59%, in 1998 4.43%, and in 2008 8.49%.


Old hippy friends talked about how they used to smoke joint after joint in the 70s (which is probably why everyone seemed to get headaches from it). I don't know anyone who smokes like that now.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:21 PM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I see this article and all I can think is "Man, I would NOT want to have to fill out the regulatory paperwork to be allowed to do that study and have all those drugs in my lab"
posted by Canageek at 6:35 PM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


So they're assuming that "pure" weed is just a bag of THC?

Scientifically speaking, the purest form of weed is actually an aibrushed poster of a grey alien with a rasta hat and dreads in Spencer's Gifts.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:47 PM on October 7, 2013 [16 favorites]


On the other hand, blue crystal is becoming impossible to find, so there's that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:01 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: ""I used to do this when I was in high school" is a very, very bad thing to say right before you sample the insanely powerful weed that's available these days.

FOR SERIOUS. The last time A Person I Know got high it was more high than A Person I Know had ever been all previous high times combined and A Person I Know threw up spectacularly and spent the rest of the evening really mad at everyone else who was having fun.
"

SWIM. Someone Who Isn't Me. Though APIK is nice, too.

Yes, let's just say there was a realization a few years ago by SWIM that the green stuff was much stronger these days than they'd ever had. Heart racing, pounding, really just too much. The last time that person had something that potent was a decade previous where he swore that the dank was laced with acid or something psychedelic, but the person who gave it to him insisted that it was just really good Northern Lights.

Now it's all Sour Diesel this, Bubba Kush that. The fuck ever happened to brick weed you sit around and smoke all day getting high while watching TV and jamming to some tunes to?
posted by symbioid at 7:16 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone I Know really wishes his friends had corrected him when he smoked a joint like a cigar and didn't get high at all and wasted the goddamn pot
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


stupid lack of any impulse to do anything illegal or rebellious at all

now Someone I Know just sputter-swears like Walter White when he drives
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rustic E, are you sure you wasted the pot? I have smoked pot exactly twice, both over thirty years ago now but well remembered. My friends of course made sure I understood the need to inhale and hold to absorb the goodness. The first time still nothing happened. This is, apparently, fairly common and my friends just shrugged it off. The second time I got quite blissfully fried. I didn't keep it up because I didn't have my own supply and soon my educational friends drifted off into other lives and I drifted into a life where fuck yeah random testing.
posted by localroger at 7:52 PM on October 7, 2013


nope, they just handed me the joint, watched me smoke it without holding a puff of it in, and then let me pass it on without saying a word of correction
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:05 PM on October 7, 2013


As a member of the "used to do this in high school" brigade, the thing that blows my mind is that there are people who are in a position to choose one kind of weed over another because they prefer the flavor. Like, not "This one here smells potent, that one there smells weak, the other one yonder smells like dude bought a bag of oregano by mistake," but "Me, I prefer my weed with a complex fruity flavor," the way you might express a preference for IPA over Belgian ale or vice versa.

On the one hand, fuck yeah! That's awesome! Hooray for connoiseurs getting shit that they like! And I'm really not trying to bash on the whole thing, because it says a lot about the increasing social acceptance of marijuana and better-informed growers and consumers and so on and those are all Really Awesome Things.

But on the other hand, my inner Bitter Old Codger wants to be like, what? Really? Do you also enjoy the flavor of locally-brewed small batch Nyquil? Prefer the distinctive terroir of whippets from a particular assembly line in France? Hold out for codeine cough syrup made with real cane sugar instead of that nasty HFCS shit?

Whatever. I got used to fancy coffee and high-end tequila. I like fancy coffee and high-end tequila now. I can get used to this. Next thing you know there'll be gourmet malt liquor and high-end everclear and I'll probably end up liking those too. It's just kind of disorienting when something crosses the line from "shitty utilitarian drug delivery device" to "fine sipping substance for gentlepersons of taste and distinction" while I'm not watching, you know?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:11 PM on October 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The first time still nothing happened. This is, apparently, fairly common and my friends just shrugged it off.

I don't think there's a physiological reason for this, though- I think people who've never smoked anything before just aren't any good at it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:11 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


the thing that blows my mind is that there are people who are in a position to choose one kind of weed over another because they prefer the flavor.

There may be people who make decisions based on flavor, but that's not at all why most people care about different strains. Each one has a different chemical profile and different effects. Some will make you feel like you could eat a horse but also like you are in no particular rush to get up and actually find food, others will have no effect on your appetite whatsoever and will leave you feeling focused and productive. I don't think this is really snobbery in the sense you seem to take it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:34 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


nope, they just handed me the joint, watched me smoke it without holding a puff of it in, and then let me pass it on without saying a word of correction

I would consider that the polite thing to do, in case someone had felt pressured to come along but didn't actually want to inhale and was trying to be subtle about it.
posted by forgetful snow at 11:31 PM on October 7, 2013


maiamaia: "Has Cannabis Been Secretly Genetically Modified to Render it More Dangerous?
Very interesting and likely idea: if drugs are grown secretly, and their content has changed radically, who's to know if the gangs haven't been indulging in genetic modification? After all, they're big enough to own subs, jumbos, labs and, at one point, a West African country...
"

The short answer is no, this is the paper they cited:
Investigations into the hypothesis of transgenic cannabis.
The unusual concentration of cannabinoids recently found in marijuana samples submitted to the forensic laboratory for chemical analysis prompted an investigation into whether genetic modifications have been made to the DNA of Cannabis sativa L. to increase its potency. Traditional methods for the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO) were used to analyze herbal cannabis preparations. Our analyses support the hypothesis that marijuana samples submitted to forensic laboratories and characterized by an abnormal level of Δ(9)-THC are the product of breeding selection rather than of transgenic modifications. Further, this research has shown a risk of false positive results associated with the poor quality of the seized samples and probably due to the contamination by other transgenic vegetable products. On the other hand, based on these data, a conclusive distinction between the hypothesis of GMO plant contamination and the other of genetic modification of cannabis cannot be made requiring further studies on comparative chemical and genetic analyses to find out an explanation for the recently detected increased potency of cannabis.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:20 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rustic Etruscan: nope, they just handed me the joint, watched me smoke it without holding a puff of it in, and then let me pass it on without saying a word of correction

Stop Clintoning the joint, brah.
posted by syzygy at 2:45 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


in retrospect, that's what I would have wanted to hear
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:33 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Wait, really? Pot is cheaper than in the 90s? I may have to start smoking pot again!

I might too but I still don't know any dealers.
posted by jfuller at 5:03 AM on October 8, 2013


I always loved the protest idea of genetically modifying other plants to produce THC and spreading their seeds to interbred with commercial crops.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:22 AM on October 8, 2013


There may be people who make decisions based on flavor, but that's not at all why most people care about different strains.

Just the idea of being able to choose is alien to me. Back when I used to smoke the only option we had was whatever shitty, seed-filled bag your scummy friend of a friend would sell you.

I haven't smoked it in a long time, and probably won't dive back in when it becomes legal, but one of the best things about legalization is never having to deal with that scummy friend of a friend again.
posted by bondcliff at 6:29 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, like bondcliff, I'm not used to having much choice at all. But choosing based on the chemical constituents is less surprising for me — we definitely all wished we had the opportunity to do that back in my day.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 7:14 AM on October 8, 2013


Man, a friend I know who totally isn't me thinks this whole thread feels like being stuck at work while everyone is talking about this amazing party they all get to choose whether or not they want to attend.

"He" might be a touch bitter.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:23 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


(It's funny: looking back, I remember being in high school, and hearing older and more experienced people talk about different "strains" of weed giving subjectively different kinds of high. And I remember being like 75% sure that was an urban legend or some hippie-ass superstition, the same way I was like 75% sure that there was no necessary connection between the color of the blotter and the quality of the acid, or like 75% sure that being drunk on wine was no different than being drunk on beer. But then I also remember being like "Man, if that were true it would be so cool" — and, after all, I wasn't 100% sure that it was hippie bullshit...)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 7:42 AM on October 8, 2013


Yeah, I always figured the dealers or friends of dealers were just making stuff up. "This stuff is awesome, it's Thai stick!" or "This stuff is laced with cocaine." My favorite was "This is Expando weed! It expands in your lungs and gets you higher than regular weed!"

I mean, how the hell would they know? They just got whatever random shit their scummy dealer friend sold them and the scummy dealer friend was just some kid who knew an even scummier guy who would sell them a half pound of whatever random shit they got.

Christ, I hate scummy dealer friends-of-friends even more than I hate the paranoid zombie effect that pot had on me during my later years of smoking.

There was that scene in American Beauty when Lester was buying weed from the neighbor kid and the neighbor kid was telling him about the various types. "This one has a mellow buzz with low paranoia." I always thought that would be like a dream, being able to pick the effect weed would have.
posted by bondcliff at 8:11 AM on October 8, 2013


Just the idea of being able to choose is alien to me.

It was huge for me. When I lived on the East Coast, I knew it helped me focus on my work sometimes when I smoked, but I could buy from the same person twice in a row and it would be helpful once and unhelpful the next time because they just sold whatever their guy sold them. Now that I moved to California, I can find strains that reproduce this effect consistently.

The idea that there is such a varied range of effects is itself kind of crazy. I think if my only exposure had been average random-shady-dealer weed and I'd never tried dispensary stuff, I would think the notion of medical usage is suspicious myself. None of the easy analogies really fit this aspect of it, except maybe if you were to assume truth in that urban legend about different kinds of alcohols making you different kinds of drunk.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:03 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


None of the easy analogies really fit this aspect of it, except maybe if you were to assume truth in that urban legend about different kinds of alcohols making you different kinds of drunk.

Well, methanol will certainly make you a different kind of drunk than ethanol. Blindingly drunk, you might say. Propanol, butanol etc. probably shouldn't be in your cocktail, either.

Snark aside, people aren't drinking pure ethanol, so different alcoholic beverages certainly have different effects on individuals due to the other components in the drinks. Tannins in wines, for example. I can drink bourbon all night, but if I have more than two glasses of merlot, I'd better be prepared to spend some time on the bathroom floor while nursing a horrible headache.

The same is true for marijuana. Different strains have different cannabinoids even if their level of THC is identical. The ratio of THC to CBD is probably the most important consideration, but there are hundreds of other cannabinoids with different binding affinities and selectivity profiles to CNR1, CNR2, and the other putative cannabinoid receptors. Some may exhibit biased signaling (e.g. signaling through beta-arrestin or the g protein pathway more or less strongly in one or more cell backgrounds). There's a lot that can explain the different types of "high" one experiences with different strains.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 11:59 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was that scene in American Beauty when Lester was buying weed from the neighbor kid and the neighbor kid was telling him about the various types. "This one has a mellow buzz with low paranoia." I always thought that would be like a dream, being able to pick the effect weed would have.

That is more or less what it's like now, but you really have to know your own brain well enough to make an educated choice.
posted by mykescipark at 1:25 PM on October 8, 2013


jfuller: "> Wait, really? Pot is cheaper than in the 90s? I may have to start smoking pot again!

I might too but I still don't know any dealers.
"

Craigslist 'Strictly Platonic'. When I moved to a new city last summer, I put an ad on there (thanks to an AskMe answer) and got a few responses, so I was able to shop around a bit and settled on one guy who has different strains, good prices, and lives less than 5 min. away.
posted by mannequito at 1:42 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


« Older Posters to the People   |   The New Canon Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post