An anti-legalization group in Michigan is telling voters that today’s cannabis is too potent. Campaign workers with Healthy and Productive Michigan were recently calling voters in Detroit in an effort to get them to oppose Proposal 1, the recreational pot legalization initiative on the ballot next month. Reading from a script provided by the anti-pot political action committee, Wynona Moss of Warren, Michigan contacted voters via her cell phone.
The efforts against Proposal 1 by Healthy and Productive Michigan are being funded by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a cannabis opposition group led by anti-pot crusader Kevin Sabet. Luke Niforatos, the SAM chief of staff, said that the effects of cannabis products high in THC are unknown.
“This is limitless potency marijuana,” said Luke Niforatos. “What does it hurt to wait until we get the solid research on high potency THC?”
Despite Niforatos’ claim of unlimited potency, Michigan medical marijuana regulations currently in effect limit cannabis products to 50 milligrams of THC. Similar limits for recreational products would also likely be enacted if Proposal 1 is successful at the ballot box.
Sabet, the CEO of SAM, said during a visit to Michigan earlier this month that residents of the state should vote against the legalization initiative when they go to the polls next month.
“The pot industry has done a very good job of selling a product that they say is safe and benign,” Sabet said. “But we now have genetically bred products and very unprecedented levels of THC. We should reject Proposal 1.”
Dr. Sue Sisley, a researcher studying the effects of cannabis for veterans with PTSD at the Scottsdale Research Institute Laboratory in Phoenix, agrees that THC levels found in marijuana have increased over the past several decades.
“There is selective breeding now. All these geneticists are developing breed traits that are desirable for both (medical) cannabis patients and on the adult recreational-use side,” said Sisley. “Certainly, people are looking for the high THC formulations.”
But Sisley also said that there are medical benefits to high-potency products and strains of marijuana high in cannabinoids.
“High THC levels should not be feared because it’s often the best option when it comes to treating pain and other illnesses,” Sisley said. “We need a system where patients can be educated on how to use the products.”
Angie Rouiller, a team leader at GreenHouse, a licensed dispensary in Walled Lake, Michigan, said that highly potent products are necessary for some medical marijuana patients.
“It comes down to the individual person. For a person who hasn’t tried cannabis since Woodstock, it’s completely different,” Rouiller said. “I tell them to try 5 milligrams and be at home in a comfortable space and have a loved one present. But if you have someone who is trying to kick morphine, they’re not going to feel that 50-milligram concentrate. There is a place for those products.”
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