By Bob Starrett
This is scary. "Wrapped in 'Tootsie Roll' style wrappers, these powerful chewables consist of the most active ingredient in marijuana -- THC -- and their taffystyle packaging is conspicuously attractive to kids."
That's Heidi Heilman, guest columnist, writing in the Milford Daily News this week. Ms. Heilman is speaking of a January incident in which a car of teenagers was pulled over for speeding. The Cheeba Chews were found inside.
Powerful chewables with THC. From California and Colorado, no less, and under "the guise of medicine." I think that the packaging is rather conservative. But who knows what those out-of- staters are cooking up for Massachusetts? This is probably the first wave of the assault, apparently by "deep pocket outsiders to target Massachusetts to become the next 'medical' marijuana haven."
I get it about invading Massachusetts, maybe they should be left alone. Several invasions are already underway or coming up including Gamers, the Undead and Asian Longhorn Beetles.
Ms. Heilman continues, "The Massachusetts proposals being discussed designate anywhere from 19 to 35 licensed marijuana dispensaries, which would openly sell the drug to virtually anyone with a self-diagnosed need."
|The sadly misinformed Heidi Heilman, chair of the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance|
Is that in fact what the Massachusetts proposals say? Authorize dispensaries to openly sell to virtually anyone with a self-diagnosed need? Here's an idea. Let's take a look!
The current ballot measure being considered requires a physician's recommendation to be able to buy marijuana from these awful dispensaries. What's that you say? A doctor treating a patient?
And there's more.
"For those with a true compassionate need for marijuana, the FDA has made available two marijuana-based pills; other research which would turn marijuana's helpful ingredients into non-smoked medicines must also be encouraged."
Umm...that is sorta what Cheeba Chews are, non-smoked medicine.
"It is also critical that all potential medicines including marijuana-based medicines be subject to America's FDA approval system to protect the public from fraudulent, dangerous and/or ineffective drugs."
So let's run Cheeba Chews by the FDA. Yeah, look for approval about the same year that Dr. Lyle Craker, professor of plant, soil and insect sciences at University of Massachusetts, Amherst finally gets approval from the DEA to grow marijuana for his FDA approved research study that has been declined since 2001.
Of course, you always want to save the best for last:
According to Ms. Helman, "The average user is a 32-year-old white male with a history of substance abuse and no history of life-threatening illness." And that appears to be according to Kevin Sabet, a senior policy advisor to President Obama's drug czar. Of course he is another one of those who would stand to lose if medical marijuana in fact became legal. A longtime bureaucratic fixture apparently, he also worked for presidents Bush and Clinton.
Now this is where I become a bit confused. Can we all get access to medical records like that? The implication is that this statistic has somehow been gleaned from some state patient registry, maybe Colorado. It's not from here and I don't think it is from any other state patient registry. First, there is no such information in the Colorado patient registry computer. And even if there were, one would be hard pressed to get at it.
How would anyone know any such thing? How could anyone study such a thing?
Rest easy, Massachusetts. There are actually only 85,124 patients in Colorado, not 125,000 as stated in the article. That is 39,876 fewer "West Coast" invaders to worry about. Rethink your defenses.
Heilman Article (Milford Daily News)
Gamers Invade Massachusetts (WGBH)
The Undead Invade Massachusetts (The Pulse)
Editor's note: Bob Starrett, with 22 years of experience with Optical Disc and Drive technology, is co-author of six books on CD and CD-ROM technology, and his published magazine work includes more than 250 articles, reviews and columns on CD-ROM, CD Recordable, DVD-ROM and DVD Recordable technology for publications including PC Magazine, EMedia Magazine, CD-ROM Professional, Digital Video Magazine, Digital Content Creator, One To One, Online, Tape-Disc Business and others. He holds a J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law.