Vince Two Eagles: Questions about 'Pezhi' in Indian Country

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A cannabis plant. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia

The Rez of the Story
Pezhi (pot) Revisited
By Vince Two Eagles

Hau Mitakuepi (Greetings My Relatives),

I wanted to underscore by concern about the growing interest to use pot as a cash crop as part of some Native Nation's emerging strategy for economic growth and opportunity and here's why.

In accordance with an article by Eliza Gray in a recent TIME magazine there appears to be some food for thought on this subject as follows:
On June 18 [2015], Delaware became the 19th state to decriminalize possession of small amount of marijuana, joining a growing number of U.S. cities and states that have loosened restrictions on the drug. But pot remains illegal under federal law, which has made studying its effects particularly challenging. That may finally be getting easier. On June 22, the White House announced that cannabis researchers will no longer have to submit proposals to the U.S. Public Health Service, lifting a major bureaucratic hurdle. "Scientists need to be part of making policies, and the only way we can do that is through fast research so we can answer some questions that the public is asking," says Yasmin Hurd, who has researched the drug at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Despite the challenges, pot researchers have turned up some interesting recent findings. Here is a short guide to the latest:

BUYER BEWARE: A study published in the June 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that most of the 75 edible marijuana products researchers purchased in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle inaccurately labeled the potency of the treats' THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot. Some 60% had less THC than advertised, while around 20% had more--a variation researchers attributed to a lack of industry standards and regulations.

MIXED VERDICT ON MEDICAL USE: A review of 79 randomized clinical trials of nearly 6,500 patients, also published in JAMA, found limited existing evidence of marijuana's benefit for some medical conditions. The researchers found "moderate-quality" evidence that marijuana helped with chronic pain and reduced muscle spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. However, they found only low-quality evidence that it helped with nausea caused by chemotherapy and weight gain for patients with HIV and no reliable evidence that it improved psychiatric conditions like depression or relieved eye pressure in patients with glaucoma--all conditions that can qualify people for medical marijuana under state law.

WEED BEHIND THE WHEEL: The spread of legalization has raised an attendant question: Can adults drive safely after using? A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse offers new data on marijuana's impact on driving performance. Researchers tested drivers after 10 minutes of drinking and 10 minutes of inhaling pot. Observing the level of their driving impairment, they found that drivers with a blood concentration of THC of 13.1 ug/L showed a level of weaving similar to drivers with a breath-alcohol concentration of 0.08%--the legal limit in most states. Another finding: while alcohol increased the number of times a car left its lane and the speed of weaving, marijuana did not.

Vince Two Eagles

Clearly there is much research yet to be done to convincingly render pot safe for public consumption on many levels. What I fine more than a little interesting is the willingness of the public to rush to legalization of pot. What is the motive for wanting to legalize recreational use with the verdict still out as to pot's relative safety. Pot clearly needs to be regulated to assure quality and minimum standards for checking out "claims of potency" made by sellers.

I am very concerned about putting more intoxicated (driver impaired) citizens on U.S. roads and hi-ways. There are no definitive or reliable stats to help regulate and set blood-levels that would help our law enforcement officials to act when removing impaired drivers from our roads.

It is not responsible to allow impaired drivers on any substance to be putting at risk the safety of the rest of us that don't use. And what is this obsession with mind-altering experiences all about in human kind? What is it about reality that we feel the need to "check out" for a while?

It is a scary thought, to say the least, to wonder if the pilot of the airplane I'm riding on is being piloted by an impaired individual or other operators of other public transportation let alone individual operators of vehicles on our roads.

And now you know the rez of the story.

Doksha (later). . .

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