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Fables, Fictions, And Reefer Madness

Redford Givens, MagicCityNews.com, 21st August 2006

Re: Greenades, Marijuana Gumballs, Identified by Maryland Police, Used by High School Students

It was astounding to see Narconon Arrowhead making the claim that "Most experts agree that there is enough THC (the active chemical in marijuana) in one gram of high grade marijuana to produce a lethal overdose that could result in death if swallowed by a toddler." Astounding because marijuana is the least toxic active drug known to man.

Claims that eating marijuana can cause death by a THC overdose are utterly false because raw marijuana contains very little active THC. Raw marijuana contains THC acids and precursor compounds that must be converted to neutral THC by heating or extracting with alcohol to have any effect. This does not happen when marijuana is ingested without cooking. It is utterly impossible to cause a fatal THC reaction eating raw marijuana.

THC itself has no known toxic dose. Not one peer reviewed study agrees that one-gram of pure THC could cause death if swallowed by a toddler, let alone eating a gram of marijuana containing very little active THC.

DEA and FDA approval of moving Marinol (THC and sesame oil) from Schedule II to Schedule III as a safe and effective substance for medical use with a lower potential for abuse than the drugs in schedules I and II contradicts the simultaneous claim that THC in marijuana is very dangerous and must remain a Schedule I substance along with Heroin. The research for rescheduling Marinol did not find any lethal dose for THC demolishing claims of THC toxicity.

Marinol's Schedule III listing contradicts all claims that the THC in marijuana should be a Schedule I substance. Incidentally, the sesame oil in Marinol is far more toxic than the THC!

This is the hypocrisy and pure fraud that Narconon Arrowhead seeks to abet and imitate.

Researchers have great difficulty determining the lethal dose for marijuana because the sheer volume of plant material required causes death long before a toxic reaction can occur. A deadly dose of marijuana would require eating hundreds of pounds of cooked marijuana in a few minutes. Even a toddler would have to consume several hundred pounds of pre-cooked cannabis to have a lethal reaction. Consuming so much marijuana or anything else would cause death by choking.

DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young found that a lethal dose of marijuana would require an adult to smoke 1,500 pounds of cannabis in 15 minutes. That would mean absorbing more than 75 pounds of pure THC in the smoke.

It is now known that THC binds to specific receptors in the brain and throughout the human body where a natural cannabis compound called anandamide normally attaches. These natural cannabinoid receptors enable the body to digest and expel marijuana compounds without any toxic injury whatsoever. The human body's ability to metabolize THC and other marijuana compounds harmlessly is the reason 5,000 years of history fail to show a single death caused by ingesting or smoking marijuana.

Narconon Arrowhead's absurd fiction about "killer weed" mirrors the hysterical fables, fictions and false witness used to outlaw marijuana in 1937:

* "The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."
* "Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death."
* "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."
* "[Smoking] one [marihuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother."

Despite many outrageous drug crusader claims, science provides no logical reason for outlawing marijuana.

Since changing their marijuana policy, the Netherlands brought down its heroin death rate by 50% while heroin deaths in the US quadrupled. That is one of the consequences of a deadly marijuana prohibition policy.

In 2005, California State Superintendent Jack O'Connell urged all California schools to drop the Narconon anti-drug education program after a state evaluation concluded that its curriculum offers inaccurate and unscientific information. Narconon Arrowhead is no longer allowed to peddle their Reefer Madness lies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and most other school districts in California.

The Oklahoma State Board of Mental Health concluded that: "No scientifically well-controlled independent, long-term outcome studies were found that directly and clearly establish the effectiveness of the Narconon program for the treatment of chemical dependency and the more credible evidence establishes Narconon's program is not effective." Narconon has been denied certification in Oklahoma because the treatment course formulated by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard is unscientific and potentially dangerous.

Narconon Arrowhead is an unreliable source of information about drugs and an ineffective treatment organization.

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