Synthetic pot: not safe

Duluth last year became the epicenter of a debate over synthetic marijuana. Despite a state ban on the product, the Last Place on Earth store continued to sell the stuff.

Duluth doctors have pushed back against the belief that synthetic pot was not a public health problem.

A report released today from the journal Pediatrics sides squarely with the doctors, making it absolutely clear that the side effects of mock pot are serious and may not be detected by emergency room doctors.

The Washington Post writes:

Standard toxicology tests can’t detect synthetic cannabinoids, the report notes, because it takes such a tiny amount of these chemicals to induce euphoria and the other effects that mimic those associated with marijuana use — part of their appeal to young people. Though some testing assays that can detect these substances are commercially available, the authors note, they cost too much for hospitals to use them routinely.

Nationally, the number of calls to poison centers about exposures to synthetic marijuana more than doubled from 2010 to 2011 and may set a new record in 2012.

The “talk to your teens” advice always sounds antiquated and obvious and it’s easy to laugh off anything connected to pot. But this isn’t about a plant or the 60s or what you did in college. This is about chemical poisoning.

— Paul Tosto

  • Mark Gisleson

    It’s “chemical poisoning” willingly ingested by people who want to obey the law and still get high. Fake pot is a business opportunity created by the war on drugs.

    The simplest solution would be to legalize marijuana, a plant created by God and whose benign effects have never once been linked to a fatal overdose. Compare and contrast with alcohol, our lobbyist-run government’s favorite drug of choice.

  • THis is NOT lucy

    Yah, what Mark said.

    And I’ll raise his comment with:

    I lobby that ‘they’ all smoke a fatty before creating the State’s budget in order to avoid another shut-down.

  • Tim

    I agree w/Mark. If they would legalize cannabis/hemp/marijuana Minnesota could make a windfall through taxes, creation of a new banking system, and helping our farmers as well as creating an industry, so much for those trying to bring in jobs. Legalize, create jobs and save money on cops, courts, and jails, but nope, let’s give ‘em a synthetic. Are the lawmakers this synthetic?

  • David

    Alcohol, not safe. War on Drugs, not safe.

    I’d wager we could let this synthetic menace run unchecked for 20 years and it’d cause less damage than one day of the War on Drugs or one year of damages caused by alcohol.

  • Kassie

    I find it interesting that marijuana is illegal, but smoking isn’t. Per a story on NPR yesterday, the Feds, for the first time, are doing anti-smoking advertisements. We would never do an advertisement like “don’t let your baby drink from a bottle with BPA.” We would make it illegal if we really thought it was dangerous. Yet, we continue to let cigarettes be legal.

    Meanwhile, pot is pretty much a harmless drug, yet we spend billions of dollars fighting it. So ridiculous.

  • James

    Okay people, lets get real. There is nothing natural about todays marijuana. It has been chemically altered a lot since it’s “Natural-God” design. There are a lot of things natural out there, but it doesn’t mean they are safe. I have worked in the chemical health field for the past 16 years specializing with adolescents (12-18 years of age). The reality is that they have the same types of consequences as all the other chemical users (physical-social-psychological). I have also worked with people who have died as a direct result of damages of marijuana to the body, and increased psychological issues/suicide.

    Now let’s get real again. The majority of people pushing for legalization are active marijuana users. I once believed in the lies/alibis when I was involved with my chemical use, but know better now. Look at the actual honest resources through NIDIA, NAMI, CDC, DEA, Trulane University.

  • Shane

    Haha James are you serious? For being a chemical health expert you sure are misinformed. Yes some of the product that drug cartels push my be chemically contaminated, but no marijuana, especially not medical marijuana, is chemically altered.

    Source: I’m not a moron and I know how to actually read research studies rather than skimming over them

    Also I think you meant NIDA.