Cannabis reclassified Class B in UK
May 7, 2008 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Jacqui Smith to reclassify cannabis - despite pressure from the UK Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the Home Secretary has announced the reversal of Tony Blair's 2004 decision to downgrade cannabis. Critics see the move as pandering to tabloid scaremongering
posted by Acey (59 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"This is swank.. 10 times more addictive..." Good to see stupidity still unites our two great empires.
posted by sarcasman at 3:32 PM on May 7, 2008

Well that kinda sucks, but this stuck out to me:
"Ms Smith, who has admitted smoking cannabis while she was a student"
Do politicians normally admit to smoking weed, in the UK or the US? I seem to be used to them either denying ever taking part or going with the whole "didn't inhale" thing.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:34 PM on May 7, 2008

Cannabis isn't dangerous? I beg to differ. Do you realize that 100% of all users eventually die???
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:34 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do politicians normally admit to smoking weed, in the UK or the US?

I'm guess it's getting far less deniable over time.
posted by Artw at 3:48 PM on May 7, 2008

Do politicians normally admit to smoking weed, in the UK or the US?

Yeah, nowadays they don't even bother hiding their hypocrisy too often.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:56 PM on May 7, 2008

Do politicians normally admit to smoking weed, in the UK or the US?

'Youthful indiscretions'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:58 PM on May 7, 2008

Because, of course, the previous 31 years it spent as a class B drug were so very effective in curbing its use and limiting its availability. I just wish the UK government would stop worrying about sending messages and start worrying about whether their policies make any sense whatsoever.
posted by xchmp at 4:17 PM on May 7, 2008

Critics see the move as pandering to tabloid scaremongering

Not just the tabloids, sadly. The Independent, which was once our most sensible newspaper with regard to drug policy, has lately become one of our most retarded.

Not that the police really enforce it much. About ten years or so, I was shopping with a friend in Wade Smith, when security must have thought they saw something they didn't, and they called the cops. As we left the store, we were intercepted and they asked to do a search.

I'd completely forgotten that I was carrying a quarter ounce of evil killer skunk in my pocket, and so as I emptied my pockets, out came the bag of weed. Cop just told me to put it away. He had no interest in it whatsoever.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:17 PM on May 7, 2008

I don't smoke, but I'm with Peter Tosh on this one.
posted by snsranch at 4:19 PM on May 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

"When will people learn that democracy just doesn't work?"
-Homer Simpson
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:33 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]



Fucking science-ignoring scottish fascist.
posted by lalochezia at 4:34 PM on May 7, 2008 [6 favorites]

Do politicians normally admit to smoking weed, in the UK or the US?

In the US, this is not yet common but it is becoming more so. Barack Obama admitted to smoking weed (and even doing cocaine) in his first book. Contrast that with Bill Clinton's embarrasing pseudo-admission in 1992 that he tried pot, but he "didn't inhale."

Admitting past pot usage has also come up in nominations for the US Supreme Court. In 1987, Douglas Ginsburg (no relation to eventual Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) admitted to smoking marijuana in his days at law school. The ensuing controversy forced him to withdraw his name from consideration (the seat eventually went to Justice Kennedy). Only a few years later, in 1991, Clarence Thomas admitted doing the same thing, but this was overshadowed by the sexual harrasment controvesy and he was eventually (barely) confirmed.
posted by thewittyname at 4:35 PM on May 7, 2008

I'm not in the UK, and I've never even touched pot, but this? This is ridiculous. Something tells me law enforcement over there probably thinks so, too.
posted by katillathehun at 4:53 PM on May 7, 2008

The British Home Office (responsible for house cleaning duties and presumably making tea) has a page on their classification scheme and another page on cannabis that haven't been updated, but do explain the previous classification scheme and why the previous change was made.
posted by sien at 4:54 PM on May 7, 2008

Well, I guess they won't be smoking marijuana in the United Kingdom anymore, then. Too bad.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:55 PM on May 7, 2008 [6 favorites]

Wow, good job Gordon.

Canadian politicians don't seem to have much trouble talking about previous pot indiscretions - I seem to remember something from the last election in a paper about the fact that pretty much every leader was like "well, yeah..."

Despite this, no one moves to decriminalize it. It's glacial. Politics is a broken art.
posted by blacklite at 4:58 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

CitrusFreak12 writes "Do politicians normally admit to smoking weed, in the UK or the US? I seem to be used to them either denying ever taking part or going with the whole 'didn't inhale' thing."

Some canadian politics are pretty open about it. To the point that John Manley told The Canadian Press in 2003 that the psychedelic 60s passed him by. "No, never," Manley deadpanned when asked if he'd ever smoked pot. "I regret that, now, because apparently it's 'de rigueur.'
posted by Mitheral at 4:58 PM on May 7, 2008

I have a hard time picturing Stephen Harper smoking pot. But then I have a hard time picturing Stephen Harper doing anything other than standing around looking like a giant douchebag.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:04 PM on May 7, 2008 [6 favorites]

This seems to be just part of a trend where Labour takes away the very few actual tangibly just about "good" things that they've managed over the last 10 years: first the 10p starting tax rate - you brought it in you fucking dumbasses! - now they can't even stick with the lame reclassification of cannabis that they did 4 years ago. What a bunch of jokers. I expect the minimum wage is next up for sacrifice on the alter of the Daily Mail. Brown and Blair deserve to fuck themselves in a horrible pit of Paul Dacre's shit
posted by criticalbill at 5:06 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

What the fuck is up with Brown? It's like he's trying so hard to not be the dour, sensible socialist we all wanted that he's become some kind of freakish Tory boy.

Or he's seen our economic future and wants shot of the whole shebang ASAP.
posted by fullerine at 5:12 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is what people do when they're on the ropes... panic.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:15 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yawn. The police haven't arrested anyone for possession in years, and they popped right up and confirmed that it will remain a 'non-arrestable offence' as soon as this was announced.

Also, sloppy editorialising NewsFilter - it's not pressure, it's advice (the ACMD spokespeople mostly seem rather chuffed that the govt. are following every other recommendation in the report), and since you're pinning the blame on Smith now, it must've been Blunkett last time around.
posted by jack_mo at 5:22 PM on May 7, 2008

Ooh look, the UK is doing studies on pot and then ignoring the advice of the study when it's politically inconvenient.

Hey UK, do you really want to copy Nixon?
posted by mullingitover at 5:28 PM on May 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

What amazes me is after the Independent retracted its support for marijuana legalization based on the crappy data that the ACMD didn't accept and after it and the Guardian ran stories in which, the top half and the headline were all about marijuana causing schizophrenia and kids on pot run amok while the second half of the stories generally included the actual science supporting no such thing, they had an editorial today *opposing* the reclassification that they had essentially called for!!!!

If I were Brown, I'd be like, WTF? He totally caved to media pressure that the media itself didn't even buy!
posted by Maias at 5:31 PM on May 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

UK newspapers have been batshitinsance about weed this past year or so. They keep describing a new demon weed called "Skunk" that makes its users become schizophrenic, murder grandma, rape the cat, and commit other various heinous acts.

Skunk is, of course, just the dried female flowers. Which is to say, it's what we in North America smoke almost exclusively. Not exactly the stuff of nightmares.

"Soapbar" is what UK users are used to smoking. It's trim — the leaves and shit us Westerners throw out — mixed with anything from lawn clippings to carpet fiber, compressed into hard bricks of pure nasty. Anything the manufacturers can lay hands on to add volume and make it stick together, goes into soapbar.

So, yah, traditional UK practice is to smoke a toxic mix of industrial waste cut with the leftovers of the plant after the "skunk" is removed and sold to people in more civilized nations.

To read the British media's take on skunk is to laugh and cry at the same time. The hyperbole is beyond ridiculous.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:33 PM on May 7, 2008 [11 favorites]

changes nothing, the chances of getting locked up for smoking a spliff are still next to none. What is Gordon Brown playing at though, he must have the worst possible team advising him.

The harder they fight cannabis use the more harm they do to the precious youth they are trying to protect. At least home grown isn't polluted with a load of bulking material more harmful than the drug itself.
posted by twistedonion at 5:34 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I thought they wanted to reclassify cannibals. I mean, whoa. What would that even mean?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:06 PM on May 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Can you imagine how much getting high with a young Clarence Thomas would fucking suck?
posted by The Straightener at 6:13 PM on May 7, 2008 [4 favorites]

"Soapbar" is what UK users are used to smoking...

Jesus fucking christ! That's absurd. It's beginning to look like bad British weed is going to replace Bad British Teeth and Bad British Food as the stereotype du jour.

Of course, if it turned out that's what the French smoked, we'd call it doobie pate and be all over it.
posted by stet at 6:31 PM on May 7, 2008

I blame Amy Winehouse for this.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:26 PM on May 7, 2008

I just wish the UK government would stop worrying about sending messages and start worrying about whether their policies make any sense whatsoever.

Does the policy of government as benevolent protector of people from themselves ever make sense? What if the current administration is liberal? Conservative?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:44 PM on May 7, 2008

First hit on Google: Soapbar is perhaps the most common type of hash in the UK and it is often the most polluted... Beeswax, turpentine, milk powder, ketamine, boot polish, henna, pine resin, aspirin, animal turds, ground coffee, barbiturates, glues and dyes plus carcinogenic solvents such as Toluene and Benzene

Also: Well, as growers with an abundance of leaf material left over from a crop, we couldn't help ourselves. We had to give it a try!

We sieved off 10 grams of resin glands (pollen), crushed up 200 grams of dried leaf and ran it through a sieve to reduce it to a very fine powder. We then heated this mixture in a bowl over boiling water and added 5 grams of bee's wax, five teaspoons of condensed milk powder, one teaspoon of turpentine, and a couple of pinches of instant coffee powder for colour. We continued to knead the heated mixture into a dough-like form, then pressed it under pressure and allowed it to cool. It bonded well into rock hard lumps, just like Soap Bar! To our delight, when we tested it with a flame, immediately we were treated with that old familiar smell of grade 'A' genuine Soap Bar! Crumpled like it too! Although there was virtually no resin glands in this so-called hash, we gave some to a friend and he had no complaints!!

I suppose there is some amount of truth to the hysterical newspaper reports of Skunk being a bajillion times more potent than ye olde hash: Skunk actually contains THC, while the soapbar the Brits were used to contained almost none.

Irony is, Skunk is a bajillion times healthier for you than soapbar.

The British can be remarkably stupid sometimes.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:07 PM on May 7, 2008

Hey UK, do you really want to copy Nixon?

Actually, shamefully, Nixon was copying us.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:49 PM on May 7, 2008

Coincidentally my neighbor just reclassified her weed from gnarly to kind.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:58 PM on May 7, 2008

I love how politics is all about telling the biggest lie possible at all times. The 'uncertainty' over marijuana is ridiculous. A couple years ago archaeologists in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region found a 2,800 year old mummy with a bag of weed:
"His clothing was largely brown: a brown-and-red mantle with triangular webbing and pants of the same color and with wavy patterns," he said.

Archaeologists found a sack of marijuana leaves buried alongside the mummy.

He also wore huge earrings of copper and gold, and a turquoise necklace, and held a copper laced stick in his right hand and a bronze axe in the left. His hands were crossed in front of his chest.

"From his outfit and the marijuana leaves, we assume he was a shaman," said Li. "He must have been between 40 and 50 years old when he died."
Nearly three millenia of human involvement with this plant and manipulative power-hungry demagogues are trying to convince people that it's dangerous and we must lock up normal, able-bodied people by the thousands. Hey everyone, you know that liquid they're showering us with? It's not rain. Maybe we're locking up the wrong people.
posted by mullingitover at 12:03 AM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, FFS, if nobody else is gonna do it, I suppose I'm gonna have to:

Soap bar.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:37 AM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also: Dr. Nuke and Howard do a public service announcement.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:54 AM on May 8, 2008

Damn McDemott beat me too it... and we don't all smoke soapbar, that's for chav scum who don't know any better.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:01 AM on May 8, 2008

I smoked the demon weed when I was a ferocious, ill-mannered youth. It made me steal cars, lie to my parents and chase after girls. I prompted me to wear skinny neck-ties and say 'groovy' and 'daddy-o.' I read Burroughs and thought I enjoyed it.

I woke up to the error of my ways one morning after coming to in the double-decker McDonalds in Times Square (this was the early 80's) and realizing I had no idea where the last week had gone. How many cars had I stolen? How many lies to parents had I told? How many girls had I chased? How many times had I been rude to my elders? I hung my head in shame.

Now that I'm much much older and so totally way wiser, I look at the drug policy of both the US and the UK and ask myself, "Whoa, dude. WTF?"

But seriously, can any one remind me why marijuana is so 'bad.' I was/am a text-book 'bad' pot smoker, but I fail to see how that is any worse than being an alcoholic. Which is where I lose track of the point of all this Pot=Evil bruhaha; sure, it's bad in the same way alcoholic is bad for an alcoholic.

This whole business saddened me, this stepping away from common sense.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:18 AM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

guys, I think you need to chill out on all the 'brits don't know their weed' chit chat.

I was a fairly heavy weed smoker for a good few years and no-one ever smoked or used the phrase soapbar- most people smoked fairly good quality hashish and weed.

I happen live in a wickedly multicultural country where hash and weed have been imported and enjoyed for hundreds of years from all round the world.

All that aside-the skunk refered to isn't merely the female flowers as stated above-but weed that is artificially modified to massively increase it's levels of thc.

I think that there becomes a point when if the level of thc hits 30%-40% say, it becomes a very different thing.

I'm not sure any kind of official drug policy has shown itself to be particularly effective, certainly not this kind of kneejerk reaction, but I have a certain amount of sympathy with people who argue against treating all cannabis like it's a harmless, feel good thing.

I've seen friends spend their whole lives trying to recover from smoking too much weed and the psychological episodes that it can spark off.

And even among smokers, skunk attracts a certain level of respect due to it's decidedly potent nature.

It's some hallucinogenic shit and probably deserves to treated more like heavy acid than anything else.
posted by jaksoul at 2:24 AM on May 8, 2008

can any one remind me why marijuana is so 'bad.'

The fuss here in the UK is largely about the prevalence of weed smoking among people using psychiatric services. A couple of psychiatrists noted the rising prevalence and confused correlation with causality.

That said, I think there's growing evidence that people with a predisposition to certain mental health problems would be wise to avoid smoking -- or they should stick to soap bar, whose low levels of thc and higher levels of cannabidinols probably reduce the likelihood of a psychotic episode.

My pal Dr. Nuke (who appears in the video above) has recently been interviewing people in psychiatric hospitals about their weed use. He reports a couple of patients telling him stuff like this:-- 'Yeah, we still hear the voices when we smoke weed, but instead of them telling us to kill people or fuck them up, they're telling us to do ridiculous things, or just to avoid peole completely." Others claim that smoking weed mitigates the more unpleasant mental side-effects associated with anti-psychotics. These people might be mad, but they aren't stupid -- they wouldn't continue smoking the stuff while hospitalized for a serious mental condition if they didn't get some benefit.

Also: some trivial shit about lung damage, predicated on hotkniving your own bodyweight once a day, driving while stoned, etc.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:30 AM on May 8, 2008

five fresh fish: The plural of Anecdote is not Data.
posted by Sparx at 2:56 AM on May 8, 2008

"Soapbar" is what UK users are used to smoking.

Huh? I've lived here for four years and this is the first I've heard of this 'soapbar' of which you speak. Wicked hydro buds, OTOH, are readily available and easy to access, as the video in the BBC link demonstrates.

I don't think the reclassification will change anything much.

The fuss here in the UK is largely about the prevalence of weed smoking among people using psychiatric services

It's quite ridiculous that most reports following this line totally forget the self-medication aspect - people with mental ill-health are going to seek whatever it is that makes them feel better, and often tha's weed.
posted by goo at 3:03 AM on May 8, 2008

jaksoul: I don't think so
posted by Sparx at 3:08 AM on May 8, 2008

This will not be my most erudite comment, but:

Brown is a fucking idiot!

Legalise it, regulate it and tax it you puritan moron! The only evil thing about cannabis is the organised crime link caused ONLY and ENTIRELY by it's prohibition.
posted by dickasso at 3:14 AM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's some hallucinogenic shit and probably deserves to treated more like heavy acid than anything else.

Oh come on, I think you need to take a step back and stop spreading FUD.

I have tried some of the strongest bud out there and also lovely unadulerated homegrown. Fact is, everyone is different. An occasional user will get blown away by skunk, I'll get the giggles.

This isn't macho posturing, just saying it's kinda like the way 4 beers will have me drunk while others take a bottle of whisky.

Went to Amsterdam the other month. Was smoking crappy slate at home and the first joint in the Dam blew me away. By the end of the weekend though we were smoking isolator (THC loaded) with less of an effect than that first joint of Northern Lights.

Some people may go crazy who happen to smoke spliffs, some people may go crazy having been tee-total their whole lives. There is no known correlation other than THC perhaps increasing pre-existing conditions (which makes perfect sense to me).

Anecdotally I know over 50 smokers in their 30's who have all smoked regularly for over a decade. Not one is crazy, all hold down jobs, pay taxes, have families.

Let's try focus on facts and proper scientific surveys because as all the above tells you is that you can't base policy on anecdotal evidence.
posted by twistedonion at 3:34 AM on May 8, 2008

Anecdotally I know over 50 smokers in their 30's who have all smoked regularly for over a decade.

I've known at least four people who have had psychotic episodes so severe that it's required them to be hospitalized, and all of them believe that their weed intake either played some part, or exacerbated their condition. Perhaps because I've been smoking for over 35 years -- although these days, the only time I do smoke is when I visit Amsterdam, and even then, it's more out of a kind of nostalgic, 'When in Rome' thing. I just don't enjoy those THC heavy strains any more. Basically, I stopped smoking for the same reason I stopped dropping acid. I don't really want that degree of psychic and emotional intensity in my intoxicants any more.

Give me a nice Cabernet or a ten-bag of brown over your mindbending, skullfucking weed, any day of the week. Depressants all the way down when it comes to my own drug of choice, though I'd *much* prefer my kids used weed than used any other drug -- regardless of the legal status. And if someone would make a THC-free variant, I'd definitely smoke that for the aroma and the flavour over my usual Benson and Hedges. Specially if they were hand-rolled on the muscular inner-thighs of a typical female Dutch cyclist.

Interestingly, all four people were hospitalized long before the high quality Dutch/US/Canadian strains started to become available here in the UK.

Of course, the legal status of the drug had no bearing whatsoever on their decision to start and continue to smoke. Little short of the death penalty is likely to put the hard core British weed smoker off his drugs.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:34 AM on May 8, 2008

How do you tell if psychotic episodes are caused by normal weed, or adulterated or dipped weed? In the US, there is a bit of weed around that's been treated with nastier crap. It's in the minority, but I'm sure a heavy user who isn't picky about where they get it could wind up getting exposed to more toxic stuff.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:54 AM on May 8, 2008

Skunk is kick as shit, for sure. But the problem is not the skunk, but the dumbasses that think they can smoke it like it was Iowa Ditchweed, or the jokers that think smoking a dube is what's for breakfast.
posted by Goofyy at 5:33 AM on May 8, 2008

How do you tell if psychotic episodes are caused by normal weed, or adulterated or dipped weed?

We really don't see the same adulterants that you see in the USA. There's no reported use or availability of either embalming fluid or PCP here, and things like diesel, rubber, cow dung, boot polish, etc. don't really cause psychotic episodes.

Just as a matter of interest, the available data on the adulterants of soap bar are actually all from one very tiny sample, and I believe much overstated. I'm fairly certain that all of the data on this comes from a single study, conducted by an independent researcher, that wasn't subject to peer review, but was published in some head magazine. If people were using research of that quality to argue an anti-cannabis position, we'd be all over them like a cheap suit, but because it's a subject near and dear to our hearts -- must have better quality pot! -- we buy into it without question.

Yes, soap bar is horrible stuff, the lowest grade hash that it's possible to buy. Yes, I've no doubt some of it is adulterated. But I'm pretty sure that most of the time, it's adulterated with inert products -- ie, lousy leaf shake -- and is just lousy, weak, low grade hash rather than something more sinister.

Not a reason to smoke it, but not a reason to be so terrified of it either.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:42 AM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Reports of tainted weed in the US are usually overstated reactions to strong untainted weed by smoke novices. Wet (PCP, whatever floats your boat) stinks to high heaven like the inside of a chemicals plant, it's something you would notice, that would cause you concern. Strong wet can stink up a whole room before it's even lit. If you had a pipe full of it directly under your nose, you would know it, and would probably pass on it. Unless, of course, you wanted to spend six hours with your eyes rolled back in your head, gnawing on the carpet like a rabid animal, which a surprising number of people seem to find enjoyable.
posted by The Straightener at 6:53 AM on May 8, 2008

It's always been "solid" here, never "soap bar". Why anyone would think a black blob of allegedly resinous stuff containing god knows what would be safer than obvious green dried leafy stuff I don't know; if it's hyper-strong, you just dilute your joint a bit more, at least it's probably not been cut with whatever happened to be at hand.

[Skunk] It's some hallucinogenic shit and probably deserves to treated more like heavy acid than anything else.

Er, no it's not. There are allegedly some strains with mild hallucinogenic properties, but for the most part it's nothing like that at all.
posted by Freaky at 7:22 AM on May 8, 2008

It's some hallucinogenic shit and probably deserves to treated more like heavy acid than anything else.

Thanks for the morning chuckle, jaksoul. Yeah, LSD and marijuana are both psychedelics. Yeah, they probably should be "classfiied" similarly. Yeah, neither one should be illegal.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:16 AM on May 8, 2008

Wet (PCP, whatever floats your boat) stinks to high heaven like the inside of a chemicals plant.

We learned this from Training Day:

Alonzo Harris: Didn't know you liked to get wet, dog.
Jake Hoyt: What's "wet"?
Alonzo Harris: Butt-naked. Ill. Sherms. Dust. PCP. Primos. P-Dog. That's what you had. That's what you were smoking, you couldn't taste it?
posted by porn in the woods at 8:16 AM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I usually prefer the effects of some nice charas (a form of hash for the uninitiated) over some nice bud. Here's an enlightening excerpt (which I'm sure somewhat explains my own preference) from a discussion on the rise of THC levels in dope in Slates' Stupidest Drug Story of the Week:

In our knowledge, the idea that THC content is the be-all and end-all of cannabis potency now seems to be discredited. The work by GW Pharmaceuticals suggests that the ratios of THC to cannabidiol matters, with high-ratio stuff more likely to generate problematic levels of anxiety. (Cannabidiol seems to be anxiolytic.)

Users can titrate (though of course not perfectly) to avoid getting "too stoned" from more potent pot. But if there's less cannabidiol per milligram of THC, it's more likely that the amount of pot they have to smoke to get as high as they want to get will produce a panic reaction.

My understanding is that hashish, which generally has a higher concentration of THC than unprocessed cannabis, also has lots of CBD and thus a low THC/CBD ratio. Therefore the "Indica" cannabis that increasingly dominates the market is actually more likely to generate bad reactions than is hashish.

It seems to me that the bad faith of the anti-cannabis forces is showing. If the illicit market is creating dangerously potent (or, I would say, high THC/CBD ratio) cannabis, that's an argument for creating a legal market where the potency and the ratio can be known to the user and regulated by the government. There's no particular reason either buyers or sellers in a licit cannabis market should favor especially potent pot, any more than 150-proof rum has a big share of the alcohol market.

posted by Onanist at 8:41 AM on May 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

I get my info on weed adulteration from a cop buddy, which probably means I'm getting an exaggerated sense of how common it is (not that I thought it was very common). Since marijuana enforcement is very low in California, and usually tied into enforcement against other harder drugs, I suspect he encounters a lot more adulterated weed than any normal pot smoker would. The one that got me was the story about the guy dipping in bug spray! I suspect he wanted his buyers to think it was PCP dipped, but I'm really not sure.

Germany had lead adulteration, bringing up the weight for sale?

Anyway, these would all be arguments for legalizing and regulating, not trying to ban.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:59 PM on May 8, 2008

There was a bit of a furore about weed laced with glass last year, but even that was thought to be pretty bogus.

We used to spray buds with rum when we were kids (after curing) and then dry them, going for the Port Royal flavour. It was actually pretty tasty.
posted by goo at 5:29 AM on May 9, 2008

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