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Oakland lab could fulfill council's wish for marijuana testing

Original post made on Jun 24, 2010

Under the city's proposed regulations, any medical marijuana sold in Mountain View would have to be tested for various sorts of contamination. The best known and possibly the only "Cannabis Analysis Laboratory" in the state is apparently a place in Oakland called Steep Hill Labs.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 24, 2010, 11:31 AM

Comments (26)

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Posted by James
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

See, there's always a solution. Now lets hope that Ronit Bryant and Margaret Abe-Koga don't change the target and decide they won't support it for some other new reason.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm

It's a pity that the authorities don't care as much about the food we eat, or the water coming out of the tap...


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Posted by hemlockroid
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm

A weed's DNA and its strains can be monitored and probably will be the means by which legit and taxed smoke markets are maintained, DNA.


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Posted by James
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Old Ben, I understand the frustration, but actually food and water have "upstream" testing programs at the national and state levels, and more still at the local wells so I don't think that's a very good analogy.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

So the insertion of GMO corn into nearly every consumable supermarket product is DELIBERATE? And this chloramine in my tap water, that's INTENTIONAL?


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Kudos to Steep Hill Labs for providing a beneficial service, but by their own admission, only 50 out of the 1000's of dispensary's in California have made the effort to have testing done. Any other industry that claimed to be self regulating with less than a 5% adherence to basic independent testing would be considered a dismal failure.

Self regulation, though a quaint idea, doesn't seem to work very well when applied to macro economics. Other "self regulated" or weakly regulated industries such as Wall Street and the Oil Industry prove that relying on good intentions, and self control guarantees nothing but eventual corruption. As the article points out, Marijuana dispensary owners are not immune to mismanagement and abuse caused by ignorance and greed.

If Marijuana is good enough to be used effectively as medicine, its good enough to be regulated like all other drug based medicines.


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm

USA is a registered user.

"Oakland lab could fulfill council's wish for marijuana testing"

Sounds line an Onion article or a Dave Chappelle joke.


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Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 25, 2010 at 2:11 am

Wow, one death reported in 1988. That's all you got? The article mentions a few other cases of contaminated cannabis causing health problems, but for a plant that is used medicinally by millions of people every day it's pretty much the safest substance imaginable.

"If Marijuana is good enough to be used effectively as medicine, it's good enough to be regulated like all other drug based medicines."

Cannabis (the correct name) is not a "drug-based medicine." It is a plant, an herbal remedy. Do the Chinese herbalists on Castro Street have to have all their herbs tested before they can sell them? Is the ginger and garlic (two very powerful healing herbs) in Whole Foods tested? A great many commonly sold plant medicines pose more danger than cannabis yet somehow the hysteria of the populace is held in check.

When the author has to cite an article from 1988 pointing to a single death (one noteworthy enough to get published in a medical journal), that should be a clue that "contaminated cannabis" is hardly a huge health problem. I'm not saying commercially sold cannabis should NOT be tested, just that using testing as an excuse to keep an astoundingly safe and effective plant medicine from sick and suffering patients is an act of either ignorance or cowardice -- possibly both.


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Posted by @peacelove
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2010 at 9:47 am

Would you consume moldy contaminated pot?

I wouldn't, and I think testing is a very good, logical idea.

What does it hurt? YOUR POCKETBOOK?

Patients should be entitled to have their medicine tested.

Dispensaries should provide safe cannabis to their patients instead of feeding on their pocketbooks.


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Posted by @peacelove
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

Dispensaries should provide safe cannabis to their patients instead of feeding on their patients' pocketbooks.


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Posted by Skeptical supporter
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

Testing for cannabis isn't like testing the water supply or other medicines Those things are mixed into a large homogenous batch and then a sample is tested. Each cannabis plant is going to be different. Whether or not there is mold will depend upon the drying conditions of that particular piece. Pesticides could be similarly widely ranging, depending upon how applied.

At best it seems you could do random sample testing to see if pesticides are being used and if proper drying process is done to avoid molds. Or do the council members envision testing a portion of every ounce? Obviously a law need to have such details specified.

Also, what is the action if mold or pesticide is found on a sample? Do you issue a mandatory recall of everything produced from that location? I am imagining the scale of beef and spinach recalls. If you specify testing, it seems you have to specify the action for a failed test, too.

What seems reasonable to me, if testing is required, would be along the lines of health inspections of restaurants. Periodic testing of each supplier. Failure results in destruction of inventory, suspension of production until an inspection to determine procedures have been brought in line and testing shows compliance. That implies initial licensing of production also would require an inspection. Cost should be covered by the vendor.


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Posted by Bg Al
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

The City Council should really stop wasting time on this and the entire MJ issue. There are plenty of other areas for improvement in this city than this. I am appalled at the amount of time and attention and money this ridiculous topic has received.


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Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

@peacelove: You are obviously a troll. Why else would you try to hijack my username?

Big Al: I agree. The City Council should stop blocking safe access to cannabis and should instead serve their sick and suffering constituents.

Jonathan Steigman
Mountain View


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Posted by john
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Steep hill isn't clean enough to be considered a suitable lab for testing.

Don't take my word for it, Their tour is free. Even though you never get to see the trul dirtiest parts of the lab.


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Nice try. Just drop the issue altogether. NO MMJ DISPENSARIES IN MV.


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 25, 2010 at 6:42 pm

"Cannabis (the correct name) is not a "drug-based medicine." It is a plant, an herbal remedy. Do the Chinese herbalists on Castro Street have to have all their herbs tested before they can sell them? Is the ginger and garlic (two very powerful healing herbs) in Whole Foods tested?"

--------------

Your line of reasoning competes with Swiss cheese for holes:

1. Cannabis, Marijuana - same difference

Web Link

And the article also defines Marijuana as a drug, containing psychoactive cannabinoids. The Federal Government also classify it as a Schedule 1 drug, so feel free to call marijuana, "Bob", if you wish, it is still considered to be a drug in every meaningful sense of the word.

2. If you are comparing Medicinal Marijuana to Chinese Herbology, then the need for testing definitely applies:

Web Link

3. Ginger and Garlic are commonly known to have healing properties, but no one is advocating "Medicinal" Ginger or Garlic. That makes all the difference. Once you call it "Medicine", especially if its classified as a drug, you need to treat it like any other drug based medicine.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 26, 2010 at 5:58 am

Neither ginger nor garlic have ever been banned as dangerous drugs, so there was never a need to refer to them as "medicinal." It is preposterous to refer to a plant as a drug. It's plain stupid.


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

"Neither ginger nor garlic have ever been banned as dangerous drugs, so there was never a need to refer to them as "medicinal."

---------------

Ah, I see...so the primary rational behind calling marijuana medicine is to circumvent the existing laws that deem marijuana use illegal.

...

Bravo, I've always suspected it, but its nice to get confirmation. It also explains the premature push to setup dispensary's, before the pharmacological studies proving mj's safety and efficacy are completed, as opposed to adopting the same standards we impose on all other drug-based medicines.

What's really asinine, is callously mixing the definitions of "drug" and "plant" to suit your whims.

A drug is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism from an external source, alters normal bodily function, physical and/or mental.

Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae.

As Marijuana possesses the physical and chemical characteristics embodied by both definitions, AND is classified by the government as a drug, it is by definition both a plant and a drug.

...Unless you too, are advocating calling Mj, "Bob".


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

What's really asinine is insisting that there is some occulted hazard inherent in what may very well be the most studied weed of all time. By your absurd definition, water is a drug.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm

"The government" can say whatever it chooses. The discerning eye knows when "the government" is lying: its lips are moving.


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm

"What's really asinine is insisting that there is some occulted hazard inherent in what may very well be the most studied weed of all time. By your absurd definition, water is a drug."

--------------------
I disagree, what's supremely asinine is assuming the best case, with no consideration of the worst case.

If marijuana is medicine, prove it.

If marijuana is safe and effective, prove it.

The burden of proof is on those who purport these claims. "Assuming" safety while offering no proof nor adequate safety measures is no different than drilling several miles below the ocean floor and having only ONE backflow preventer to guard against an oil leak.

And if/when you can prove it, then marijuana should be distributed and regulated like any other drug based medicine.

Though I agree with that "absurd" definition, it isn't mine:

Web Link

What's it like, Don, charging at windmills?


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm

"The best known and possibly the only "Cannabis Analysis Laboratory" in the state is apparently a place in Oakland called Steep Hill Labs."

So is this a news article on lab testing or a PR piece for Steep Hills Labs. They advocate testing and oh by the way we also do the testing. How self serving.


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Posted by ines
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm

marijuana use leads to methampethamine use which leads to cocaine use... i've seen the drama play out many times in friends and acquaintances... and funny enough most are always complaining about some pain or another or how they can't work


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Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Hardin:

You quote the first part of the Wikipedia definition but leave off the second part: "There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage." Stop trying to tar supporters for "inconsistency" just because you're confused about the various uses of the terminology.

The government's own position is deeply contradictory. The DEA ruled in 1988 that the science required that cannabis be rescheduled since it clearly had medicinal uses and was "safer than many foods we commonly consume." (Sorry if you choose to dismiss that ruling but you can't make it vanish from the record). Cannabis is classified by our government as Schedule 1 at the same time the government is supplying patients with medical cannabis under a Federal program, and at the same time the FDA has approved several cannabis-based medicines. Hypocrisy much?

You seem convinced that the government-created Catch 22 represents reality. Cannabis has 10,000 years of medicinal use during which there is not a single credible report of a death from overdose or allergic reaction. At the same time, it is a plant, not a drug, despite the overly-broad Wikipedia definition (which would not only include garlic and ginger, but also every food we consume since they all "alter normal bodily function").

If the government wasn't continuing its disgraceful and anti-scientific mischaracterization of cannabis in Schedule 1, patients wouldn't have to worry about the semantics of what makes for a "medicine" versus "herbal healing plant." The science has stormed ahead on cannabis and the evidence has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several decades. I invite you to peruse the international Studies and Case Reports section of the International Association of Cannabis Medicine's website: Web Link [Note: a dot next to the study indicates positive results.]

I understand that, as with Birthers and Creationists, evidence will never get in the way of some peoples' anti-cannabis belief system. Those who entrust for-profit pharmaceutical companies with our health will no doubt argue for a standardized, patentable medicine on which they can make billions on the backs of the sick and suffering. I prefer to trust the natural plant medicine and so, apparently, do millions of others.


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Posted by Una_Blogger
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Kind of ridiculous that our "governance," that's typically been so negative and conservative to expose the general public to the downside of drugs, and just recently come around because of public opinion… or tax money…, that had INCLUDED wording to address enforcement against harmful chemicals in the original cannabis legislation, will now fall back to a 20 year anniversary - 2016 (1996's SB-420 to 2014's SB-1262) - for actual enforcement.

So… *drug dealers* are either anathema or regulated, but stimulating high-end, education-centric, science-heavy and technology-dependent industry jobs and benefiting our economy — and public health and potential — is not. Business as usual politics, typical. Seems our "leadership" is itself dope-y.

As one of those that admittedly falls into the category that considers that long-term "smokin' dope" makes you stooopider — I question our "leaderships" willingness to sponsor wider-spread, legalized, *combusted* vectoring of toxic chemicals (bypassing liver detoxification(!)), especially after the cigarette industry has highlighted what malicious intent surrounds this practice…

Anyone else?


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Posted by Bumping 4 yr old thread
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:11 am

Meh, just eat it. Much less harmful than alcohol or prescription drugs.
This train left the station years ago. Problem solved, society now aware and awake so feel free to use your freedom freely and walk past those who would try to stop you from doing it. Freedom haters can take a hike. Don't Tread on me.


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