Thursday, September 8, 2011

More on the Marijuana Per Se workgroup

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

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In this week's CannaBiz, we brought you word that the Marijuana Per Se workgroup — source of much controversy and hand-wringing — has decided not to recommend any limit to the amount of THC allowed in a Colorado driver's blood.

Well, an e-mail this morning from attorney Michael Elliott, a Per Se group member and executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, sheds a little more light onto the subject.

It is premature to pass a per se bill when the following questions are still left unanswered:

What, if any, nanogram level would ensure impairment? Jan Ramaekers, a leading researcher in this area, indicated to the Workgroup that it may be between 15 and 30.

What is the duration of impairment, and how is it affected by different methods of consumption and frequency of use? The Workgroup found that “[t]here is disagreement among the experts about the duration of impairment (approximately 2-4 hours for smoking, 8 hours for edibles).”

Most of the current research has been conducted on research participants who smoked marijuana — little research has been done on vaporizers, edible foods and drinks, and topicals (such as muscle rubs). Researchers such as Cynthia Burbach, were unable to tell the workgroup whether muscle rubs, which do not cause impairment, would enter the blood stream thereby increasing a person’s nanogram level.

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