Every State’s Medical Weed Program Should Include Smoked Or Vaped Cannabis

March 9, 2015 | Bucky Turco

The majority of U.S. politicians and officials within the federal government are way behind the times on all weed-related matters. So, it’s not surprising that when Governor Cuomo announced the state’s medicinal pot program, he would totally fuck things by not allowing smoking cannabis. He said it would be hypocritical for New York to advocate the burning of weed when so much money has been spent on anti-tobacco efforts. Forgetting for a second that these are two very different substances, one of which is a lot more dangerous than the other, there are several reasons why this is bad policy. Allow me to paraphrase Alternet, which breaks it down point-by-point:

“Oral preparations not fast acting”
No matter how powerful edibles are, they sometimes take hours to kick. For patients looking for immediate relief, this is impractical.

“Ingestible preparations are harder to self-regulate”
As studies have shown, right now the edible industry is in its infancy and there are not enough regulations to determine exactly how much THC these confections carry, despite what their labels say. It’s a lot easier for a patient to light a spliff or vape using set amounts of weed. This can be done with a scale, even — something impossible to do with edibles.

“Oral pot preparations possess significant bioavailability”
I have no idea what this means, so I defer to the experts: “Bioavailability refers to the percentage of an active drug that is absorbed into the body following administration. This percentage is typically influenced by the chosen route of administration.”

“But isn’t inhaling cannabis smoke as dangerous as exposure to tobacco smoke?”
This is the number one argument elected officials used to make until vaporizes became really popular. Sure, combusting any kind of pot is not good for your lungs, but alas, there are new options. One can simply vaporize the essential oils off the plant and not burn any of the vegetative matter. Also, although both these substances may “possess some similar chemical properties, the two substances have different pharmacological activities and are not equally carcinogenic,” according to a 2005 study. Recently, researchers found that pot is so low in toxicity in comparison to cigarettes, booze and dope that it needed its own category.

(Photo: Prensa 420)