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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The antithesis of editing: the food law is not helpful in any way

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Editor’s Note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes a mixture of national and local themes Comments Online and in print every day. To contribute, click over here.

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In reply to June 5 editorial (“Be careful though legal clarity on foodstuffs”) On recent legislation that authorized small amounts of THC and Delta 8 in foods, we at Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota would like to express the opposite view that this is a semi-baked idea. By passing this legislation, Minnesota became the first state to legalize marijuana at the back door.

For those who may not know, Delta 8 is an extract derived from CBD or hemp. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis. Eating or smoking Delta 8 or THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects. There is no approved method for extracting Delta 8 from hemp or CBD, and the process, which is done illegally, uses extremely harmful chemicals that may harm your health. As the editorial says, the FDA received reports of 104 adverse events between December 2020 and February 28 this year, two-thirds of which involved edible products and 55 percent required medical intervention. At this point, there is very little, if any, research on Delta 8.

Has anyone reviewed any science on this?

Do we really legalize something when we don’t know how it’s made and that could have serious health implications?

Who was this idea? Who really benefits? People who suffer from pain? Didn’t we expand the medical program last year?

Since revenue is one of the reasons we hear about commercializing cannabis, why aren’t there taxes on these products? Who will be responsible for inspection and regulation?

There appears to be a contradiction in the statute about what can be extracted from hemp. Current law states that nothing extracted from hemp (see definition of “industrial hemp”) can be intoxicating, and can contain no more than 0.3% THC. Therefore, there appears to be some confusion about how a food can contain 5 milligrams of THC per serving, or delta 8.

It has been proven that labeling does not prevent these products from getting into the hands of children. Alcohol and tobacco were the most commonly used drugs by young people. Use is often seen as a rite of passage into adulthood. So, who will we hold responsible if and when calls for poison control and other accidents start to surface?

Finally, for the 5mg dose of THC which is half the standard amount, any good addict knows that if one is good, two is better, and what stops someone from taking two or three servings? There is now significant research on the dangerous effects of 5 mg of THC and the adolescent brain, including direct associations with psychosis, mental health, motivation and lower IQ. Eighty-three percent of high school seniors say getting marijuana is easy, according to a Monitoring the Future study.

We have no problem with what we understood as the original intent of the changes to the CBD regulations, which was to add edible CBD. But the new change allowing Delta 8 and THC is a risky move that does nothing to advance the goals of social justice and social justice, false labels the marijuana industry wants us to accept as a reason to market marijuana. We urge the legislature to reconsider the ill-advised attempt to legalize these articles.

Judson Bemis, of Minneapolis, is the co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota.

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