State Rep. Yadira Caraveo recently had to roll back on her proposed “potency limit” she intended to bring into Colorado. Why did she back down? The Colorado cannabis industry caught wind of what she was doing and with it, prompted an aggressive response criticizing the initiative.
While Rep. Caraveo said that her bill was still in the “early stages”, once the leaked document reached the eyeballs of prominent cannabis players within the state – the industry responded by writing a series of articles, social media posts and opinion pieces.
The cannabis industry in this case is acting completely within its rights. What Rep. Caraveo is proposing is not based in science – but “because this is what the Dutch did” was her response. She believes that the Dutch proposed limits on cannabis products would work within Colorado that has no limits on cannabis potency.
While there are some research indicating that higher potency products can have adverse effects in some people; there is no evidence to suggest that placing a limit on the potency of the product has any impact on the rate of consumption by consumers.
In fact, one could argue that by “re-prohibiting high potency THC”, you’re only making space for a new “high potency” black market to emerge. This goes completely against the initial incentive of creating the legal cannabis industry in Colorado in the same place.
Similarly, it makes no sense that there are no real limitation on the potency of alcohol product in Colorado – which arguably also has a greater risk from the consuming public. Yet, because cannabis is a “hot topic” we can see people like Rep. Caraveo trying to make a name for herself.
Why limiting the potency of pot is an idiotic notion?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that there is no scientific evidence or actionable data on the idea of limiting pot-potency. Additionally, Caraveo wanted to drop it to 15% which is an arbitrary number.
Experienced cannabis users know how to titrate high potency pot. For example, a “bad” can have up to 90% THC and many of you reading this article have consumed this without any issue whatsoever. Why? Because you know when to hit it and when to quit it.
Of course, some people will have adverse effects, but as mentioned earlier – this is true for alcohol too. And if it is true for alcohol and you only want to propose a limit on the THC level of cannabis products, yet not touch or attempt to limit the alcohol content – then it seems that you aren’t genuinely concerned about public health.
This is something that I wish lawmakers would ask themselves prior to engaging with this line of thinking. A simple question like, “Would this work with alcohol” would provide enough context to understand that limiting cannabis potency will have zero impact on curbing use while only serving to create a space for black market players to fill the legal void.
Fortunately, Caraveo doesn’t have the support she seeks and probably won’t find it.
Why is Caraveo warring with Cannabis?
As per usual, we have a pediatrician “worried about the children”. She wants to limit cannabis because “of the children”. In that case, perhaps we should outlaw cars too because kids can’t drive. Maybe we should also simply ban all alcohol sales because, maybe kids could drink.
“We haven’t reevaluated what the industry has done, in terms of effects on youth and effects overall, since we legalized (marijuana)” – Rep Caraveo.
Yet that is a lie. The cannabis industry in Colorado has done numerous small tweaks to their system to ensure that kids are protected, that money is being funneled back into the public space and that the industry is growing as justly as possible.
As a result, Colorado has recently surpassed the $ 10 Billion marker in terms of retail sales. To claim that “we haven’t reevaluated” is political bullshit and it seems that Caraveo is simply following “hearsay” within her opinions which could lead to a law that hurts a growing industry.
All of the studies on the subject matter are “inconclusive” and “merits more studying”. Think about that in terms of health for a second. Think about it if a doctor tells you that they would need to cut off your arm, even though the evidence isn’t there yet – and the findings “merits more studying”.
Would you be okay with cutting off your own arm based on that advice? Of course not! Similarly, public policy – which impacts millions of people, cannot be passed by mere hearsay or “inconclusive studies”. It’s the same exact line of thinking that made cannabis illegal in the first place.
While I agree, we should kids psychoactive substances out of the hands of kids – the Colorado approach has been a model to follow. Compared to prohibition states, Colorado youth consume less marijuana even though they perceive it to be less dangerous than alcohol.
This is because if you educate kids the right way, you can have a society where “for adult use” products are readily available – FOR ADULTS! This includes strains that can exceed 30% – why not? Why should those who aren’t affected by high potency stop consuming because “some” people “may” have a problem with it?
That doesn’t sound “just” to me…