This particular problem involves at least 124 incidents of lead poisoning in Leipzig, Germany after it was determined the victims all had one thing in common: they smoked marijuana. This marijuana had lead added -- presumably to increase the weight and therefore increase the profits of the sellers. Clever.
Unfortunately, marijuana is illegal and there is no regulation (aside from simply being illegal) and testing of the product for contaminants prior to sale, and of course it's illegal to avoid the pitfalls altogether by simply growing it yourself.
The patients are recovering and taking medicines called chelating agents to help remove the lead from their bodies. But it could take years to clear it completely, particularly from bones. And some were quite disillusioned to learn that poison was added to what they thought was a pure, all-natural product, said their doctor, Prof. Michael Stumvoll of University Hospital in Leipzig, who commented, “How naïve!”
Naïve?? Did he say that because they were buying from an unknown source or that it's naïve to believe that marijuana is a pure, all-natural product?
Whatever. The solution is to legalize the growing of marijuana for personal consumption (or even as an ornamental shrub or privacy hedge, if we so desire). We would then know where the product came from, that it had not been tampered with, it would cut out the black market dealers charging exorbitant prices for a product which, in a legal framework, should cost no more than a bundle of parsley.
People who do smoke marijuana, or bake with it, should be able to grow their own, or get it from someone they know and trust who grows it, rather than playing Russian roulette with a supplier who cares more about making a few extra hundred dollars per pound than whether the customers are poisoned.
Oh, you don't approve of marijuana? Hey, that's OK. Don't use it. There are people out there who choose to avoid onions and garlic because of the aphrodisiac properties. Abstain from it. That just leaves more for me, and frankly, I have no problem with feeling horny.
Just don't try to regulate or outlaw a plant which plenty of others enjoy. That strikes me as a tad hypocritical in a country where almost 50% of our citizens are using at least one prescription drug. And in a country where prescription drug deaths rose 68% over five years.
Poisoning from prescription drugs has risen to become the second-largest cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hell, even the DEA recognizes there's a problem. (Bold emphasis mine)
Nearly 7 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs*—more than the number who are abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, Ecstasy, and inhalants, combined. That 7 million was just 3.8 million in 2000, an 80 percent increase in just 6 years.
* Prescription drugs refers to abuseable pharmaceuticals controlled under federal law enforced by the DEA.
Prescription pain relievers are new drug users’ drug of choice, vs. marijuana or cocaine.
Yes, and I'd like to point out that marijuana is the only "drug" here which does not require being "manufactured" in some capacity aside from simply growing, putting out blossoms which are then dried. Contrast that with cocaine for instance.
This is why I have a real issue with marijuana being lumped in with cocaine and other drugs.
Crossposted at Big Brass Blog