Attorney General Sessions Must Be High

If you’ve been working to legalize hemp, medical marijuana, or recreational marijuana for more than 20 years, you start to recognize patterns in those who advocate against legalization.  We used to be told we were into conspiracy theories, or that we were high back when it was illegal everywhere except for a handful of places, and quite limited if it was legal at all.

But, after Prop. 215 in 1996, as more and more people began to stop being worried that any Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 12.49.40 AM.pngassociation with cannabis would result in one’s life being ruined, many people started to understand that they were being lied to by our government. Even then, it was hard to believe, particularly for people in my parent’s generation, that the government would actually lie to our faces when they knew the truth.

My how times have changed.

When I saw this article on Huffington Post today, Jeff Sessions Warns Of An America With ‘Marijuana Sold At Every Corner Grocery Store’.

“States can pass whatever laws they choose,” Sessions told a crowd of attorneys general at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting. “But I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.”

Um, no. We don’t have them at grocery stores in Colorado, Washington, or any other state that has legalized. This was, perhaps, a plausible argument, if you were really high, say 20 years ago. But now – we have pretty clear models for how to grow, regulate, and distribute legal marijuana profitably and generating tax revenue.  Maybe the AG is a closet toker.  He must be to be floating this idea today.

Now, we still have problems. A lobby that is corrupt. Not enough resources to protect the consuming public from hundreds of chemicals the big businesses want to use that may harm our health. The fact that it still takes an armed guard to move literally tons of cash because of ass-backwards banking laws.
But, we don’t have the problem of legal marijuana in grocery stores. No one is advocating that.  Textbook Straw Man argument. Or, again, maybe he’s just high and thinks it’s 1996.
Meanwhile, the whole “it’s stronger than it used to be” meme is getting old too. It’s true, but because most don’t have an understanding of what this actually means.
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Cannabis Trichomes

Let me demystify: There’s these little things called Trichomes on the flower/bud, or Calyxes as well as the surfaces of adjacent leaves.  They have, or are, a resin.  They are like tiny little clear balls of sticky stuff.

The Trichomes are the chemical factories that make THC, CBD, CBN, and the hundreds of other compounds that are sought for their medical and recreational properties.
Their purpose in the wild varies: They are there to catch the pollen so that the flower/bud can make seeds for the next generation, they deter insects, and their chemical compound protects the plant from animals that would eat it – that psychoactive effect is actually supposed to be a deterrent so that the animal learns to go eat something else.
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Mature Cannabis Flower

When you look at this on the flower, they tend to make the flower look frosty white at the time of harvest, and they are often referred to as crystals because when they dry, they can kind of sparkle.

So, when we refer to the potency of marijuana, what this really means is that there is a higher percentage of mass or weight of these little Trichomes on and in the flower surfaces as a percentage of the weight of the . . . and, that’s actually the point.  That percentage depends on what other parts of the plant you trim away.

In general, when Colorado growers are having their products tested, they are trimming away the pointy ends of the leaves, and that leaves a trimmed bud.  So, many of the less dense trichome areas end up in the scraps that are processed usually into edible products.  That leaves a bud with the highest density.  The stems, fan leaves, and other plant mass aren’t part of that equation.
Since the marketing of marijuana often includes trying to achieve higher potency, of course they process the flowers in a way that achieve a higher proportion. But, that’s all it is – a proportion of the active ingredients vs. plant matter.  But, generally, what AG Sessions is referring to is the fact that back in the 1960s and 1970s, the percentage was measured (most often guessed at) 5-7%.

Now, by using selective breeding, there are strains and methods of preparation that can push this number way up into the 20-30% range.  But, go in any dispensary, and you still see strains that are all over the board, but generally not less than 10%.

But, it’s not like THC itself has become more potent.  It’s still just the same molecule it always was.  But, now that we know more about the other compounds, there’s different dimensions to the mix, so you will see higher and lower CBD percentages – including strains that virtually eliminate THC in favor of the medicinal effects of CBD.

What AG Sessions just can’t seem to comprehend is that, believe it or not, people want the CBD and don’t actually want to get high!  They would simply like relief from their conditions, and it’s proving to be effective.  But, they’d still like to be able to function at their jobs, take care of their kids, and even be able to safely drive their cars.

This mischaracterization is simply a throwback to a day when it was demonized to the point where it would be put on a Schedule 1 list of controlled substances that have no medical value.

Now, beyond that, there’s other types of processing that strip away all of the plant matter with solvents or CO2.  These have various efficiencies that can take that percentage up into the high 90s in terms of percentages.  To help you understand, it’s the difference between beer and whiskey – just a higher concentration.

And, when we get into medical patient needs, that efficiency is important when someone is trying to ingest 1 gram per day, for instance, to deal with tumors or epileptic conditions.  It’s just impractical to consume larger amounts of plant matter, so getting rid of it makes it into a pill vs. having to eat a pan of sugary brownies every day.
It’s disheartening to have to refight these tired old battles, but on the other hand, at least now it’s not such a hard thing to believe that our Attorney General is lying to us.  Nor is it impolite or offensive.  It’s just a fact.  Sad!

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