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What exactly are you smoking?

Buyers of Cannabis should be aware of the strength and potency of the products they purchase

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Much like taking drinks from a stranger in a bar, marijuana users can get themselves in trouble by being unaware of what is in their cannabis.
Because marijuana is not FDA approved, additives are currently not restricted for recreational uses.

The legalization of recreational use of marijuana may cause problems for the community as marijuana dispensaries start to sell products beyond just for medical use.

In states where marijuana is legal, the media is reporting that dispensaries have been selling products that are harmful to un-informed users’ health. Part of the problem is dosing.

Most buyers understand that different breeds of cannabis do yield different strengths; however, some buyers are unaware of the dangers of new, stronger dosages.

Accounts of dangerous outcomes regarding this issue were reported in Colorado only months after the law passed allowing marijuana to be used for recreational purposes.

“Congolese exchange student Levy Pongi, 19, consumed a marijuana cookie that contained more than six servings of THC during a March spring break trip to Colorado. He then jumped to his death from his hotel’s fourth floor,” Lori Jane Gliha reported from Aljazeera America.

Gliha also reported an incident where a husband shot and killed his wife due to hallucinations he experienced after consuming marijuana-infused candy.

UCC horticulture student Jeremy Chester, a licensed Oregon Medical Marijuana Program grower, is concerned. “One new form [of marijuana] that should bring attention to everyone is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). This product of marijuana is very high in levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as high as 99 percent.  The problem with such high THC levels is that it becomes toxic, not to the effect that the person will die, but to the extent that the person taking such a high level can suffer from hot flashes, nausea, hallucinations and anxiety, obviously the opposite of what the drug is meant to do,” Chester said.

The competition between marijuana sellers paired with the freedom of selling this product for a profit may be the reason for the stronger product sales.

Since this danger may be heading here, buyers are cautioned to take this as a warning especially since the Oregon law fails to emphasize the need for education prior to purchase. Consumers are only required by Oregon law to be over 21 and to possess no more than 8 oz of marijuana at one time.

 “I don’t think this is very safe for our community,” Hailey N., a pre-med student, said about the potential dangers dispensaries can present by exploiting their products.

Davis Weiss, an AAOT student, agrees, “It is not safe.  People who participate in buying this product better do their research and know what they need and what they are going to buy.”

Isaac Brickner, an AAOT student, is also concerned. “I am aware of normal business competition, but it is unfortunate it is posing a threat.  Since [selling] is not federally legal, the business is exploiting the product, which is not good.”

Although some marijuana products have caused issues, the arrival of new dispensaries has not bothered many students.

“I am indifferent.  In no way is it affecting me or anyone else negatively, from what I can tell, so I don’t question the implementation of them,” Brickner said. “People should recognize that it shouldn’t be such a large issue as it has provided immense amounts of revenue to other states [who legally sell marijuana].”

Most students share this opinion.  The opening of dispensaries in the community has showed very little threat to students thus far.