Pubdate: Wed, 15 May 2002
Source: Citizen Tribune, The (TN)
Copyright: Citizen Tribune 2002
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - In the world of high-grade marijuana, sticks, seeds
and stems are not welcome ingredients.

Medical marijuana researchers said they found such cannabis chaff among pot
from a government farm, and say their patients deserve kinder buds.

The government-grown marijuana is being provided to San Mateo County for the
first publicly funded analysis of HIV patients smoking the drug at home.

But some of the patients and medical marijuana advocacy groups say the
Mississippi-grown weed is weak.

``It's unconscionable that they would be giving this marijuana to
patients,'' said Dale Gieringer, state coordinator for NORML, the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. ``It's stale, low-potency
ditch weed.''

Fewer than 10 people are taking part in the study originally planned for 60
participants. One man gave up smoking the joints altogether after he became
fed up with the low quality.

The government defended its marijuana, saying it ``does not contain sticks
and seeds.''

``The problem is re-humidifying. It makes it kind of harsh,'' said Steve
Gust, special assistant to the director of the National Institute on Drug

In Southern California, they're having just the opposite problem.

Two patients enrolled in a medical marijuana trial program in La Jolla have
complained that the NIDA-provided pot is too potent.

``They've reported getting high shortly after the first few puffs,'' said
Dr. Andrew Mattison, the center's co-director. ``These are people with a
chronic, debilitating illness who do not want to get high. They want to get
pain relief.''
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