Tuesday, July 26, 2005

'skunk summit' announced by US and Dutch Governments

The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. Drug Czar John Walters, and Dutch Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst, have reached an accord on dealing with "high potency marijuana" and announced plans to hold a 'skunk summit' this autumn. Heaven knows what they will come up with, but 'News of the Weed' will be there.

According to the Washington post the 'skunk summit' is being held because of concerns about a "new high-potency form of marijuana, known as THC, because of its psychoactive ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol." The US Drug Czar is quoted saying that on his visit to Holland he had discovered that "20 percent of homegrown marijuana was THC."

Very scientific sounding, but as almost every 14 year old in Britain knows THC is just one of many active ingredients in ALL cannabis, not some new chemical produced only by 'skunk' plants. Seems like what they need is some CANNABIS EDUCATION.

A good start might be the AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT 'Department of Health & Ageing' report: The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use' which states:

"it is not obvious that more potent forms of cannabis inevitably have more adverse effects on users' health than less potent forms. Indeed, it is conceivable that increased potency may have little or no adverse effect if users are able to titrate their dose to achieve the desired state of intoxication, as some have argued they do (e.g. Kleiman, 1992; Mikuyira and Aldrich, 1988). If users were able to titrate their dose, the use of more potent cannabis products would reduce the amount of cannabis material that was smoked, which would marginally reduce the risks of developing respiratory diseases.

"[ . . .]even if users do not titrate their dose of THC, (or if they do so inefficiently), any increase in the average dose received would not inevitably have an adverse impact on users' health. The effect would depend upon the type of health effect in question, and the relative experience of users."

'News of the Weed' will be watching to see if the Australian 'Department of Health and Aging' is invited to participate in the promised 'skunk summit'.

The excellent Latin american blog 'NarcoSphere' believes that the Dutch may be caving in to American pressure, and they may be right, but perhaps (hopefully) something else is happening.

The Dutch may want to humor the Americans especially after they recently withdrew their troops from Iraq. However they have steadfastly stood by their sensible and rational drug policies through years of attack from all sides. This new agreement paves the way for a summit between U.S. and Dutch researchers, information sharing between drug addiction experts and the assignment of a Dutch researcher to the American 'National Institute on Drug Abuse'.

It may just be possible that the Dutch are about to give the American Government the Cannabis Education they so clearly need. We will be watching.


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