I feel an undeniable urge to respond to the letter from Joyce Nalepka. Her letter was so fraught with false assertions, histrionics and outright lies concerning the “dangers” of cannabis that I could not let it be.
While she attempts to endear herself to us by explaining how her son played baseball in the state for two seasons, I am unimpressed. One family member spends six months in our state and you have the nerve to suggest that you know what is best for us? My brother and his family have lived in Maryland (very close to you, I might add) for over 20 years—perhaps I should come over and run for governor; I’m obviously qualified. We have not “experienced the same trauma of having to fight the drug legalization movement.” We, as citizens of the great state of Montana, voted to legalize the compassionate use of medical cannabis. We embrace the idea of states’ rights in Montana. While we would never guess what would be best for the folks of Maryland, we’re pretty sure we know what works for us, here in Montana.
The boring re-assertions of how potent the “new” marijuana is compared to the ’60s is already so easily refuted and grandly false. Oddly, it seems as though the cannabis seed sellers who have been making these grand claims (completely without proof) so they can charge $20 to $40 per seed, have inadvertently fed the war on drugs hysteria about the magical, amazing potency of the new marijuana. Through reading peer reviewed scientific journal articles, my own personal analysis experience and discussing results with cannabis testing laboratories in other states, I can assure you there are very few growers out there talented enough to coax anything over 10 to 15 percent THC.
Luckily, through state-by-state legalization, a few brave scientists are able to glean factual knowledge about the cannabis being grown in this country. Cannabis has been found to contain hundreds of discreet compounds; THC is only one of them. When you say, “today, it (the THC level) goes as high as 47.5 percent,” I had to laugh out loud. To honestly believe that a plant can contain 47.5 percent of one compound is ridiculous. I believe water, H2O, would be that compound. What about chlorophyll, cellulose, starch? Is all this science boring you?
Again, your ignorance and hysteria overshadow any sympathy you might get for your position with ridiculous statements like, “Today’s marijuana is so potent, even the kids have nicknamed it ‘skunk’!” Those kids, aw shucks. Here’s another boring scientific fact for you: The compounds responsible for the wide variety of smells that emanate from various strains of cannabis have nothing to do with the level of THC. Skunk is only one of the smells evident in the different varieties of cannabis. You may be surprised to learn that cannabis can smell like frankincense, lemons, blueberries and even lavender. These odors come from some of the other hundreds of compounds found in cannabis.
I see by your signature, you are the “president” of the Drug-Free Kids: America’s Challenge in Maryland. Good for you. Nothing in our law suggests the legalization of cannabis for children everywhere. Our law allows adults and their doctors to decide on a constructive course of treatment for their debilitating conditions. So, this may embarrass you with your passionate plea, but we appear to already be on the same side of that issue.
In the meantime, please direct your energy and passions toward the citizens of Maryland. I’m sure they don’t appreciate you diverting your attention all the way across the country, when you could be dealing with the innumerable social injustices rampant in Maryland. We’ll worry about Montana.