Researchers find marijuana contaminated
Marijuana contaminated – As the countdown continues toward legalization of marijuana in Canada, presumably by mid 2018, new health concerns are surfacing about marijuana, also called cannabis. Researchers in both Colorado (where marijuana is legalized) and Germany (where it is not) are finding contaminants–such as lead–in marijuana samples analyzed according to the New England Journal of Medicine and SmithsonianMag.
Researchers were initially baffled by some cases of lead intoxication in Germany until they realized that the patients were heavy cannabis users. Samples of marijuana tested averaged about 10 percent lead by weight. Symptoms of lead poisoning can include: high blood pressure, anemia, learning difficulties, irritability, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
Speculation is that lead is deliberately added to marijuana by unscrupulous drug dealers to increase their revenues by $1500 USD per kilogram. Other contaminants, including fungus and pesticides, have been reported in the USA. Cannabis seems to be commonly perceived as a “healthy” or “natural” drug among its users; these new findings might alter that perception. But there also is some truth to these beliefs: The Times has previously reported how a McGill University professor, Dr Mark Ware, has documented that cannabis can have health benefits, especially for palliative care and for appetite gain.
Meanwhile, The Times has heard many local anecdotes of houses and apartments being converted into clandestine “grow ops” to cultivate marijuana, commonly with illegal and dangerous connections to Hydro Quebec. Not only does this expose neighbours to fire risks, but residences are often rendered unfit to live in by the heat and humidity needed to quickly grow marijuana.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected to office in 2015, promising to legalize marijuana across Canada. Proponents of such plans often talk about taking the marijuana business away from organized crime and regulating it under government control.
Currently, no details seem to be publicly available about what Ottawa’s plans might be for quality controls with marijuana sales. Various other food and drug products are subject to quality controls by Agriculture Canada and Health Canada.
Parents discussing marijuana use with their adolescent children should realize that marijuana today is often three times more potent than it was 30 years ago according to SmithsonianMag. Canada has the highest use of marijuana among adolescents among developed countries with some 28 percent of 15-year-olds reporting to have tried it within the past year according to international comparisons conducted by the World Health Organization.
Despite Ottawa’s stated intentions to legalize marijuana, it currently remains illegal except for special exemptions such as medicinal use as authorized by Health Canada. But being illegal is not a major barrier for growers who reportedly have already made marijuana Quebec’s most lucrative agricultural crop.