Monday, December 19, 2016


"How safe is super-concentrated marijuana?" PBS NewsHour 12/15/2016


SUMMARY:  Now legal in eight states, there are unanswered questions about the impact of recreational marijuana on public health.  To maximize potency, pot can be purified for maximum THC, its psychoactive ingredient.  But a lack of research and restrictions on these very high concentrations is raising concerns.  Special correspondent John Ferrugia of Rocky Mountain PBS reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  With recreational marijuana now legal in eight states, a serious health and safety question about the potency of the psychoactive drug in cannabis, known as THC, are emerging.  In Colorado, some marijuana products contain 90 percent pure THC, with little research documenting the physical and mental effects on consumers.

This week, the state's health department announced more than $2 million in grants to study the impacts on driving and cognitive functioning.

As John Ferrugia of Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver reports, there are concerns that the effects on some users could be deadly.

MARC BULLARD (user):  2016 is a year of something new.

JOHN FERRUGIA, Rocky Mountain PBS:  In December 2015, Marc Bullard felt on top of the world.  He had landed a good job in Denver after graduating magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University.

MARC BULLARD:  It's been a good year.

JOHN FERRUGIA:  He made video diaries to keep his family and friends updated on his life, looking forward to the New Year.

MARC BULLARD:  It's time to start planning projects.

JOHN FERRUGIA:  But just four months later, in April 2016, Marc Bullard took his own life.  His written diary shows severe depression seems to have taken a quick hold on him.

MIKE BULLARD, Marc Bullard's Father:  You know, December, he's fine, he comes home for the Christmas holiday.

JOHN FERRUGIA:  And Mike and Ginny Bullard say he spent time with family and friends and showed no sign of being down.

MIKE BULLARD:  And what we saw in the in the diary later, was by January the 16th, I guess, he's talking about suicide.

JOHN FERRUGIA:  It was only after his death that his parents began reading his written diaries.

When did you first see the first entry about dabbing?

MIKE BULLARD:  That was in the March the 5th.  And that's where he talks about you know, I think I've been dabbing too much.

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