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The Book of the Week is “Weed, Inc., The Truth About THC, the Pot Lobby, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry” by Ben Cort, published in 2017.
In this short volume, the author cleared up many misconceptions about marijuana. He defined “marijuana” (aka “weed”) as the whole plant. The mind-altering substance in marijuana is abbreviated THC. The medicinal substance in marijuana is abbreviated CBD.
In November 2012, the state government of Colorado passed Amendment 64, allowing an “anything goes” mentality in connection with marijuana. In America, it was time for another round of: too many greedy, power-hungry stakeholders (Goliaths who win the battle– profiteers in the form of lobbyists, THC sellers and politicians), and too few informed, politically active people (Davids– who see through the propaganda). The author provided suggestions on how to regulate Colorado’s THC industry. But at the book’s writing in 2017, it was too late, and he was way too idealistic.
The Goliaths reassure the masses that the new laws are gonna be great (via oversimplified, evidence-free, misleading, political talking-points)– bring in lots of revenue to the state, and expand everyone’s freedoms! The author listed examples of the Goliaths’ utterances and counter-arguments, respectively (this is not a comprehensive list):
- “It’s just a plant.” but poppies are just a plant– which serve as the raw material for opium and heroin.
- “It’s safer than alcohol.” but “safer” is a misused, overused word in rationalizations justifying all kinds of dangerous situations: drugs, the financial markets, transportation, etc. The correct description should be “less risky.”
- “Traffic fatalities in Colorado are down.” There is no bright-line blood-THC measurement-amount that is illegal for the few drivers who are tested for THC. It’s a cumbersome process to do testing in the first place. It’s a whole bureaucratic production in which a drug recognition expert must be called to the scene to rule whether to do the blood test.
- “Look at all the tax dollars!” For 2015, the total taxes collected on THC activities was one half of one percent of Colorado’s total budget.
Frequently, the sound bites on medical topics in the media are gross distortions (aka propaganda) of a situation, because they omit inconvenient facts. In one situation (one data point in the statistics) in the 2010’s, a young child had significantly fewer seizures when she ingested a CBD solution in oil. A medical doctor went on a major cable network and disseminated the misleading message that “Weed cures seizures. Hurray!” No mention of side effects or possible long-term harm or costs or whether the doctor was paid to say what he was saying, or of any details.
Predictably, in Colorado, weed shops, or dispensaries (that sell extremely-concentrated THC-containing baked goods, candy and sweet beverages) sprung up in poor neighborhoods.
As is well known, matters came to a head on crack-cocaine in the 1990’s, meth in the single-digit 2000’s, and opioids in the 2010’s. Unsurprisingly– to people in-the-know: THC is the newest drug craze which– when the harm in connection therewith reaches critical mass– will result in lawsuits and bad publicity for the industry; it will end up just like the “opioid crisis.” The harm includes not only addicts galore, but also– due to the all-cash nature of the industry in Colorado specifically– robberies and other street crimes, money laundering and other financial crimes.
Read the book to learn much more hard data on THC, the author’s suggestions for sane regulation of marijuana and THC, the nature of marijuana laws that certain states have already passed, his personal experience with addiction and why it is so hard to kick an addiction (hint: “… and he was surrounded by stores, advertisements, the culture of gratification and abuse, and the sheer smell of it [weed].”).