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In response to the June 5 editorial (“Be Careful Despite Legal Clarity on Edibles”) on the recent bill legalizing small amounts of THC and Delta 8 in edibles, we at Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota, would like to express the opposite opinion that it is a half-baked idea. By passing this legislation, Minnesota became the first state to legalize marijuana through a backdoor.
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 done illicitly, uses very harmful chemicals that can harm your health. As the editorial says, the US Food and Drug Administration received reports of 104 adverse events between December 2020 and February 28 of this year, two-thirds of which involved edibles and 55% required medical intervention. . At this point, there is very little to no research on Delta 8.
Has anyone looked at the science on this?
Do we really legalize something when we don’t know how it’s done and which could have serious health consequences?
Whose idea was this? Who does this really benefit? Suffering people? Didn’t we already expand the medical program last year?
Given that income is one of the reasons we hear for marketing cannabis, why are there no taxes on these products? And who will be responsible for inspection and regulation?
There seems to be a contradiction in the law about what can be extracted from hemp. Current law states 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 does not prevent these products from falling into the hands of children. Alcohol and tobacco are the drugs most used by young people. Consumption is often seen as a rite of passage into adulthood. So who are we going to hold responsible if and when poison calls and other incidents start to spike?
Finally, with the 5mg dosage of THC being half the standard amount, any good addict knows that if one is good, two is better, and what stops someone from eating it two or three servings? There is now considerable research on the dangerous effects of 5mg of THC and on the teenage brain, including direct correlations with psychosis, mental health, motivation and lower IQ. According to the Monitoring the Future study, 83% of high school students say marijuana is easy to get.
We have no problem with what we understood to be the original intent of the CBD regulatory changes, which was to add edible CBD. But the new change that allows Delta 8 and THC is a risky step that does nothing to advance the goals of social justice and social equity, which are false flags that the marijuana industry wants us to accept as reason to market marijuana. We urge the Legislative Assembly to reconsider the misguided and devious attempt to legalize these substances.
Judson Bemis, of Minneapolis, is co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota.