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Canada: Users Cut Feds' Grass

Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jul 2004
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Contact: editor@tor.sunpub.com
Website: http://www.canoe.com/NewsStand/TorontoSun/home.html
Author: Jason Botchford

USERS CUT FEDS' GRASS

PSSST, KEEP off the government's grass. That's the message from medicinal marijuana smokers who have sampled Health Canada's second attempt at government-certified marijuana.

The batch is being advertised as stronger and better than the first, which was returned by about 30% of the people who bought it. It's supposed to have a 12% THC level and fewer stems, making it purer smoke.

The verdict? Strike two.

"It's still not good enough," said Philippe Lucas of Canadians for Safe Access, a British Columbia group that is warning all medical marijuana users to stay away from the new pot until it completes new lab tests.

Testing Questioned

Lucas said there are serious fears the drug, grown by Prairie Plant Systems in an old mine shaft in Flin Flon, Man., has not been tested properly and may contain heavy metals and a group of moulds known as Aspergillus.

"This is not just a matter of whether this is strong enough, it's a matter of health for a group of people who are seriously ill," Lucas said.

Canadians for Safe Access is testing a sample now and expects to have results from an independent lab tomorrow. The group will also be testing the pot for THC levels, as people who have tried it claim there is no way it is as potent as Health Canada advertised.

"The belief is that it is very similar to the first batch in terms of how strong it is," Lucas said.

The first harvest was widely panned after the government said it had a THC level of 10% but a series of independent tests showed it to be more like 5%.

After the first harvest, 93 people paid $150 for 30-gram bags and 29 of them returned the product.



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