There is a longtime belief among many people that marijuana is harmless. That it doesn't lead to any other illegal drug use. The truth is the pot of today isn't the same as the pot from the 1970's. The THC, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, levels in the marijuana produced today are much higher than in the past. Also, the effects of THC in food take longer to "kick in" because of how its metabolized, as well as last longer, than the effects from smoking pot. As a result, people consume more pot laced food than is recommended while waiting for the desired euphoria, calmness, anxiety, or paranoia feelings to have effect.
The belief that marijuana is harmless is slowly changing partly due to recent events in Colorado. January 1st of this year Colorado became the first state to legalize the recreational sale and use of marijuana.
Levy Thamba Pongi, a 19 yr old from Wyoming, came to Colorado with friends to try pot. They ended up buying pot laced cookies and, according to toxicology reports, the cookies had as much THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, as six high quality joints. Pongi ate six times the amount recommended. He jumped off a hotel balcony and died. He died from eating marijuana laced food...not heroin...not prescription drugs but marijuana.
Richard Kirk, a 47 year old man from Denver, ate candy laced with marijuana and went berserk. He shot his wife in the head while she was on the phone with a 911 operator pleading for her life. She died. He apparently had no history of violence.
These two recent tragedies have sparked serious concern about whether or not marijuana should have been legalized in the first place. Can we control the dangers of edible marijuana products with regulation? Regulations that took effect earlier this year state that edible marijuana products cannot contain more than 100 milligrams of THC and the standard serving size must be 10 milligrams of THC. Also to come are potency-testing guidelines that explain how much pot consumers are actually eating when they pop those pretty brownies and cookies in their mouth.