A recent Op Ed in the Denver post encouraged Colorado to restrict the potency of marijuana concentrates to keep them away from children. While I have spoken about these idiotic notions in the past, I feel that the people that write these articles or these opinion pieces have no idea about the real world applications of cannabis within the life of teens.
Anybody over the age of 30 will be able to recall their teenage years with relative ease. During your teen years cannabis was far more prohibited than it was today. I remember as a teenager several times when I had the option to buy kilos of cannabis. Marijuana was one of the cheapest and most abundant drugs on the planet. It was easy.
These days however cannabis is far more accessible for adults and there is a wider variety in cannabis related products and potency. Even though there may be some correlation between high potency cannabis and certain psychological disorders, there is absolutely no significant data to suggest that limiting high potency pot would have any impact on the consumption rates of individuals.
In fact, recent studies have suggested that cannabis legality makes it harder for teenagers to get their hands on weed. However, I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s go back to the op Ed and analyze what the Denver post editorial board had to say.
Claims by the Denver post editorial board
The article comes out from the gates swinging unsubstantiated claims about cannabis and psychosis. The article claims that “Colorado doctors say that they are seeing an alarming spike and patient suffering from psychosis” crediting high potency cannabis as the culprit.
However, a study that was done on this very topic did see an increase in mental health related issues for patients who had THC in their systems once admitted to the emergency Department compared to those who did not have THC their system.
Yet within this very study they said, “there is a need for further research determining if these findings are truly attributed to cannabis or merely coincidental with concurrent increased use and availability.”
Or in other words there is no scientific evidence that cannabis or high potency cannabis has any influence on the diagnosis of psychosis.
In fact, the schizophrenia study of the prevalence of using high potency cannabis is also a highly contested study that should not be considered as scientific evidence whatsoever. Yet this does not stop publications such as the Denver post to continue to push this narrative.
The publication continues by saying “marijuana must be regulated as any harm causing food, medicine or recreational drugs.” They then continue by saying that tobacco products come with warnings about cancer and that caffeine product are regulated for safety. While this is true, cannabis operates in a completely different realm than these other substances.
We’re also not seeing a cap on alcohol levels, which would be the same line of reasoning that is being used for trying to limit THC in cannabis products.
The publication continues by citing one particular study that looked at the prevalence of psychosis in cities with higher access to high potency cannabis. Yet this is specifically the study that is being contested by a large group of medical researchers. Psychosis rates are generally higher in bigger cities irrespective of cannabis use or not. And we haven’t seen a global rise in the prevalence of psychotic disorders since legalization.
That’s because in larger cities there is a greater number of stress triggers which usually initiates psychotic disorders. This isn’t to say that cannabis cannot do this, cannabis very well may be the drop that spills the glass in some cases, but it is not the cause, and this is the scientific truth.
Education always over prohibition
Anyone that calls for limiting or prohibiting certain cannabis products are inviting a greater prevalence of the black market. If you want kids to consume more potent pot, you will place a limit on THC. Because the moment that you do, illegal vendors will rise in popularity because those who currently consume higher potency pot will not stop if you make it illegal.
This means that the price of high potency pot will increase, and it will become the new thing that the youth will consume since it is illegal.
Within a legal regulated system, there is a buffer between kids being able to buy cannabis. In Colorado currently only medical marijuana card holders may purchase cannabis under the age of 21. If you want to protect kids, then simply place more rules for those who have access to legal cannabis.
But under no conditions should the government be allowed to tell any adult over the age of 21 how potent their pot may be. Cannabis is a fundamental human right, and anyone who wishes to limit your freedoms based on their fear assumptions, should not ever sit any position of power. Think about that the next time there are local elections going on.