Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Heads Up

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  • BenWilson,

    some of her subjects consumed cannabis at the level of a heavy tobacco smoker: 20-25 joints a day.

    By joint, did she mean "tobacco mixed with cannabis"? Because 25 pure cannabis rolls per day is a pretty huge quantity.

    ETA: Also, quite an expensive quantity. $3000/month maybe? You'd need a 6 figure income to support that habit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    By joint, did she mean “tobacco mixed with cannabis”? Because 25 pure cannabis rolls per day is a pretty huge quantity.

    I should've clarified that. Because, yeah.

    It's actually quite surprising they don't seem to be able to quote a grams-per-day usage. Frequency is one thing, but if you're talking about dose-dependent effects, you really want to be clear about the dose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I guess the variability in the strength per gram means that the accuracy is diluted. But it does seem like a pretty basic measure to use.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Also, it's probably easier to keep track of if simply tied back to the quantity purchased in the first place. No one is going to weigh their joint before and after adding the cannabis, and their scales wouldn't be accurate enough to get a reading unless they had one of those pharmaceutical ones, and that's even if they can remember the last 1000 joints they made. But they can probably fairly easily account for the 10 ounces of dope involved, and divide by the number of days, to get a very accurate per-day usage.

    ETA: Which is not to say that knowing the frequency is irrelevant, of course it's not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    Given she did her research in Oz one might assume that the joints would be mixed... or possibly smoked out of a bucket in the bath (they're crazy them aussies). Even so I'd imagine one wouldn't be functioning very coherently on 20-25 a day, though I guess with such heavy usage tolerance would negate some effects(?)

    given the seminars were health related what findings on medicinal usage? or was it all negatively focused

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    given the seminars were health related what findings on medicinal usage? or was it all negatively focused

    The big session on medical marijuana is tomorrow morning.

    One interesting thing -- and it's actually one we should think about in any legalisation scenario -- is the relative decrease in the CBD (cannabidiol) content in cannabis plant in the past two decades. CBD moderates many of the harmful effects of THC, especially the risks of anxiety and psychosis, and may well have applications for treating anxiety disorders.

    You know how pot seemed a bit gentler and lighter back in the day, and how modern hydro pot sometimes makes your heart race? That appears to be the relative absence of CBD. If you have an untainted source of old-school outdoor pot grown by hippies in the Coromandel, hang onto that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • David MacGregor,

    Interesting reference to causality and correlation "Professor Fergusson had found no correlation between use of alcohol and committing crime" .…post hoc ergo proctor hoc "after this, therefore because of this" or cum hoc ergo proctor hoc "with this, therefore because of this"…more simply torture statistics and they will confess to anything.

    Worrying about the health effects of most things seems to be a little pointless. Leave the majority of people alone with their little perversions and the overall harm to society is negligible.

    The desire to control and regulate everything might be the actual problem (church and state will do that) - oh and a bias towards over-analysis.

    Still, gives people something to do with their degrees and offers a sense of esteem, companionship and order. The light refreshments are nice too.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ah cheers - interesting about CBD.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ... the relative absence of CBD

    has this city gone to pot?
    Oh no! Nightmare....
    Christchurch has virtually no CBD at all!
    And the Government is in charge of reconstituting it...

    ...guess that explains all the localised psychosis...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington,

    The cops find it difficult to respond in a timely fashion to crimes such as breaking and entering, burglary, theft of vehicles, stealing from cars and camper vans etc. Their resolution rates for these crimes are pretty abysmal.
    But as we see on TV "reality shows" the cops spend huge amounts of money and time detecting and prosecuting cannabis users.
    Sometimes the scenes are pathetic as some invalid pensioner or sickness beneficiary is busted. Often the small, home garden dope plot is providing some sort of analgesia to the "criminal".
    Many young people find their future prospects blighted and their ability to live or work overseas frustrated by a marijuana possession conviction charge
    I don't smoke dope -- don't enjoy it at all... but I resent the waste of police resources being lavished on what is usually victimless crime

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You know how pot seemed a bit gentler and lighter back in the day, and how modern hydro pot sometimes makes your heart race? That appears to be the relative absence of CBD.

    What of organic pot ? Someone needs to do some research here .

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    But as we see on TV “reality shows” the cops spend huge amounts of money and time detecting and prosecuting cannabis users.

    200 people a year get jailed for possession. That's crazy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    The cops find it difficult to respond in a timely fashion

    They are training to abseil from helicopters. Crimes that can be solved by airborne assault will receive a better response in future, although by cops who misread "Police" as "Army" on the application form.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    From the feature on US marijuana legalisation that I did for Matters of Substance, Washington State pot czar Mark Kleiman on labelling for THC/CBD rations:

    “I assumed when we started this we’d just look at the literature, figure out some key ratios of, say, THC to cannabidiol and require special labels for anything over some ratio. And then we look at the papers, and it’s not there. We simply do not have the science to put together a decent warning label. Can I show you a paper that shows that a 200:1 ratio of THC to CBD is riskier than 6:1? I’d bet my eye teeth on it, but I don’t have the paper for it.”

    Nadia Solowij seemed to have some actual data. Someone should put them in touch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I don’t know about calling smoking marijuana victimless. Having spent my early years on a hippie commune, where many of the adults smoked marijuana regularly, I can tell you that having to deal with stoned adults when you are a child is extremely dull and regularly frustrating.
    That doesn’t mean I think smoking marijuana should be a crime, only that being stoned can affect other people besides the user (as does being drunk).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I would think there is a correlation between smoking (of all kinds) and unemployment or under-employment; it provides a non-work related ritual (particularly roll-your-owns) and something to fill in the hours.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Ram,

    A million years ago I worked at Lambeth Hospital, Landor Road, London Town.

    There were a number of patients suffering from what was then called ganja psychosis.

    Surprisingly, most were women from Pakistan and India and the odd West Indian woman with little or no friends or supportive family.

    The doctors I talked to put it down to their lack of being able to socially integrate, not necessarily their choice of escape.

    Since Mar 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • casahuia,

    It's actually quite surprising they don't seem to be able to quote a grams-per-day usage

    Really?
    This whole area is extremely problematic to be precise about.

    How many cannabis users can accurately report how many grams per day they use? Its like asking people to report back how many grams of alcohol they have consumed versus how many bottles of beer they have consumed. Most will have a fair idea of the number of joints they have smoked.

    Mg of marijuana per joint will vary from joint to joint, user to user. Users frequently share joints. Tinnies will be smaller and larger depending on the vendors meanness or generosity....then there is the strength of the marijuana: the concentration of THC varies markedly from skunk to bush weed, the efficiency of the method used to administer the marijuana etc etc.

    So being overly precise in this area would be a nonsense. Surely the best we can do is to guestimate in reasonably broad terms.

    Since Feb 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Ram,

    Surprisingly, most were women from Pakistan and India and the odd West Indian woman with little or no friends or supportive family.

    The doctors I talked to put it down to their lack of being able to socially integrate, not necessarily their choice of escape.

    That's really interesting -- and completely in line with what I've heard this week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One interesting thing -- and it's actually one we should think about in any legalisation scenario -- is the relative decrease in the CBD (cannabidiol) content in cannabis plant in the past two decades. CBD moderates many of the harmful effects of THC, especially the risks of anxiety and psychosis, and may well have applications for treating anxiety disorders.

    So we're rolling with this now?

    If marijuana and similar substances were regulated, a requirement to include a certain level of CBD might be one way to minimize harm

    The key is to replicate the antipsychotic properties of CBD without triggering the risks carried by THC

    That nature has done this to a certain extent is not dwelt on: A Cannabis indica plant may have a CBD/THC ratio 4-5 times that of Cannabis sativa. It would seem that a mature discussion on the relationship between cannabis and neurological issues first requires this distinction be clarified for the general population, again so that people are enabled to make more informed choices. Traits of these two main strains are identifiable both physically and by the high they produce. Regardless of the fact that most Cannabis available will be crossbred these days, with experience/ education one is still able to estimate the CBD/THC ratio from the high/stoning they experience.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/hard-news-the-perfect-drug/?p=261588#post261588

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to BenWilson,

    By joint, did she mean “tobacco mixed with cannabis”?

    By 'joint' she meant spliff.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to mark taslov,

    So we’re rolling with this now?

    Yep. Well spotted. So to speak.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ha!

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to casahuia,

    love the avatar #onya

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I can tell you that having to deal with stoned adults when you are a child is extremely dull and regularly frustrating.

    HJesus! we cant be held responsible who you got lumbered with as a child.
    Have you got over it yet?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

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