Most people today are aware of the harmful effects that pesticides have on the body. The awareness lives alongside people’s passion for organic produce. People who enjoy marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes are not happy with the idea of consuming marijuana pesticides. According to NBC4, Todd Gullion of Orange County, California decided to try marijuana in the hopes of easing his back pain. When he did, he found that he began to suffer from neurological problems. He told NBC4, “My hands go numb, my arms go numb, my feet go numb; I feel like I was poisoned.”
Like Injecting Pesticides “Right Into Your Bloodstream”
Gullion was so concerned about the marijuana pesticides that he had his marijuana tested at a nationally known lab. Unfortunately, high levels of toxic pesticides were discovered in the marijuana that are known to cause severe health problems. There is special concern over the marijuana that’s smoked or vaped. Chemistry professor Dr. Jeff Raber describes this way of ingesting marijuana pesticides as being like “injecting that pesticide right into your bloodstream.” The reason for this is that the body can’t filter the smoke in the same way it can if the substance was eaten. Damage can be done to the liver and kidneys as well as the other organs.
Lack of Laws in Regulations for Marijuana Pesticides
The NBC4-I Team did their own investigation into marijuana pesticides being used in California. They bought 44 samples of marijuana from 15 different dispensaries in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Almost all the dispensaries assured them that no pesticides had been used on the plant. The I-Team had the samples tested at Steep Hill Labs in Berkeley and found that 41 out of the 44 samples of marijuana tested positive for pesticides. Dr. Don Land, Steep Hill’s chief scientist, said that the Californian marijuana crops had a lot of contamination possibly because, unlike other states, there aren’t any laws or regulations regarding pesticides and their use on marijuana crops.
Lacking the Necessary Regulations in California
Pesticides become very dangerous when they are heated. Steep Labs found Myclobutanil in 23 of the marijuana samples they tested. When heated, this dangerous pesticide turns into hydrogen cyanide which is used in gas chambers to execute people. 28 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana and 8 of these have also legalized recreational marijuana. Many of these have laws and regulations when it comes to pesticides. Massachusetts have a total ban on non-organic pesticides and may other states such as Washington and Oregon have tight restrictions. These states require testing to be done to make sure the plant is safe before it goes out to the public but California doesn’t have any such process in place.
In November of 2016, Californian residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana. The new law requires that California create rules and regulations for setting a high standard for marijuana products by 2018. Part of this will be writing the regulations for pesticide use. It’s planned that by 2018, all marijuana bought from a California dispensary will have been tested for quality first.