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In response to June 5 editorial ("Be cautious despite legal clarity on edibles") on the recent piece of legislation that legalized small amounts of THC and Delta 8 in edibles, we at Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota would like to express the contrary opinion that this is a half-baked idea. By passing this legislation, Minnesota has become the first state to backdoor marijuana legalization.
For those who may not know, Delta 8 is an extract derived from CBD or hemp. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis. Eating or smoking Delta 8 or THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects. There is no approved way to extract Delta 8 from hemp or CBD, and the process, which is being done illicitly, uses very harmful chemicals that may damage your health. As the editorial says, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received reports of 104 adverse events between December 2020 and Feb. 28 of this year, of which two-thirds involved edible products and 55% required medical intervention. At this point there is very little if any research on Delta 8.
Did anyone review any science on this?
Are we really legalizing something when we don't know how it is made and that could have serious health implications?
Whose idea was this? Whom does it really benefit? People with pain? Didn't we already expand the medical program last year?
Since revenue is one of the reasons we hear to commercialize cannabis, why are there no taxes on these products? And who will be responsible for inspecting and regulating?
There seems to be a contradiction in the statute about what can be extracted from hemp. The current law says that nothing can be extracted from hemp (see definition of "industrial hemp") that can be intoxicating, and that it cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. So, there would seem to be some confusion about how an edible can contain 5 milligrams of THC per serving, or Delta 8.
It has been proven that labeling doesn't prevent these products from getting into the hands of children. Alcohol and tobacco have been the most commonly used drugs by young people. Use is often seen as a rite of passage to adulthood. So, whom are we going to hold responsible if and when poison control calls and other incidents start going up?
Last, as for the dosage of 5 mg THC being half the standard amount, any good addict knows that if one is good, two is better, and what is to keep somebody from eating two or three portions? There is now considerable research on the dangerous effects of 5 mg THC and the adolescent brain, including direct correlations to psychosis, mental health, motivation and lower IQ. Eighty-three percent of high school seniors say that marijuana is easy to get, according to the study Monitoring the Future.
We have no problem with what we understood to be the original intent of the changes to the CBD regulations, which was to add edible CBD. But the new change that allows Delta 8 and THC is a risky step that does nothing to further the goals of social justice and social equity, which are false flags the marijuana industry wants us to accept as the reason to commercialize marijuana. We would urge the Legislature to reconsider the ill-advised, backdoor attempt to legalize these substances.
Judson Bemis, of Minneapolis, is co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota.