Officials: Legal marijuana law jeopardizes all pot prosecutions

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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Officials: Legal marijuana law jeopardizes all pot prosecutions

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Published: Apr 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM PDT Last Updated: Apr 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM PDT

SEATTLE (AP) - Prosecutors and crime lab scientists say a little-noticed provision in Washington's new law legalizing recreational marijuana has jeopardized their ability to go after any pot crimes at all, and they're calling for an immediate fix in the Legislature.

The group is suggesting a change in the legal definition of marijuana, and they have the support of the Seattle lawyer who drafted the initiative.

The problem stems from a part of the law meant to distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp, which is grown for its fiber. The law defines marijuana as having more than 0.3 percent of a certain intoxicating compound, called delta-9 THC.

Scientists with the state crime lab say that often, even potent marijuana can have less than 0.3 percent. It's only when heated or burned that another compound, THC acid, turns into delta-9 THC and the pot achieves its full potency.

"When you smoke it, it would be very potent, but before that, it would be considered hemp under the law," said Erik Nielson, standards and accountability manager for the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab's Forensic Lab Services Bureau.

That means that if people get caught with more than an ounce of marijuana - the amount adults are allowed to have under the law - or if police bust illicit grow operations, prosecutors might not be able to prove the plants or material seized meets the definition of marijuana.

"It would have an impact on our ability to enforce the law," said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

Although the lab could analyze the delta-9 THC content by burning it, that would essentially tamper with the evidence seized in any case. Another option would be to buy expensive new equipment that can test for the compound without burning the plant. But money is tight, and the lab would have to spend months developing protocols for using that method.

Instead, the prosecutors and crime lab scientists worked to draft legislation to fix the problem by changing the definition of marijuana. The measure, introduced Tuesday, would define marijuana as parts of the cannabis plant containing more than 0.3 percent by dry weight of combined delta-9 THC and THC acid. The bill is due to have a public hearing in a House committee Thursday.

Washington voters passed Initiative 502 last fall, joining Colorado as the first states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over 21, and to allow the sale of taxed pot at state-licensed stores.

Under Washington law, voter-approved initiatives cannot be amended within two years after passage unless lawmakers approve it by a two-thirds vote in both houses.

The proposed fix for the marijuana definition is not considered controversial. It has the support of Alison Holcomb, who drafted the initiative.

"Obviously it was never the intent to make it impossible to be able to prosecute cases that fall outside what I-502 intended," Holcomb said Wednesday.

Randy Oliver, chief scientist at the Seattle marijuana-testing facility Analytical 360, said it makes sense to define marijuana by the combined amounts of THC acid and delta-9 THC. However, he said, the concern may be overstated.

He said most marijuana does test above 0.3 percent delta-9, although sometimes freshly cut bud that hasn't been dried does test below it. Of the last 600 samples his lab reviewed, the average pre-heating content of delta-9 was 0.6 percent.

"In almost all the flowers we test, we have over 0.3 percent," Oliver said.
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/...opardizes-all-pot-prosecutions-204540201.html
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
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Holy fuck. This country is starting to suck it. Hard.
 

Psychopath

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Ugh. Here's a fucking thought. Stop prosecuting people for weed possession. It's a waste of time and money.
 

Guilty Spark

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#6
Seems like it doesn't really matter because most weed has above the .3% delta 9.
 

Neon

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It's a fucking plant that grows out of the ground. Fuck anyone who thinks the government should be able to ban a goddamn plant.

I can have mushrooms growing in my backyard that would kill a room full of people if I chopped them up and made Alfredo sauce with them and it's perfectly legal. But if those mushrooms make you smell colors all of a sudden I'm a fucking FELON? Our society has completely lost perspective on the role of government in our lives. COMPLETELY lost it. You want to control a substance like meth, the production of which requires stuff like ether, which tends to explode, or other such synthesizing or purifying processes - cool. You're not allowed to just run a still in your house but you can make beer, because beer won't create ethanol that'll kill you if you drink it (so basically they are controlling the alcohol-synthesizing process). Same thing here. You want to control synthesized heroin? That's totally different than saying that you are not allowed to grow a certain kind of plant. TOTALLY different.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#13
I love how the potency of marijuana grows exponentially every ten years.

Yet, no one can ever find it available on the street. "whaa"
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
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NeonTaster said:
Our society has completely lost perspective on the role of government in our lives. COMPLETELY lost it.
Yup. It's just redonculous.

The govt is way too big and way too powerful while at the
same time being way too out of control.
 

SatansCheerledr

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Apr 6, 2005
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#15
It's a fucking plant that grows out of the ground. Fuck anyone who thinks the government should be able to ban a goddamn plant.

I can have mushrooms growing in my backyard that would kill a room full of people if I chopped them up and made Alfredo sauce with them and it's perfectly legal. But if those mushrooms make you smell colors all of a sudden I'm a fucking FELON? Our society has completely lost perspective on the role of government in our lives. COMPLETELY lost it. You want to control a substance like meth, the production of which requires stuff like ether, which tends to explode, or other such synthesizing or purifying processes - cool. You're not allowed to just run a still in your house but you can make beer, because beer won't create ethanol that'll kill you if you drink it (so basically they are controlling the alcohol-synthesizing process). Same thing here. You want to control synthesized heroin? That's totally different than saying that you are not allowed to grow a certain kind of plant. TOTALLY different.

A few scientific errors but I get your point.
 

Neon

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A few scientific errors but I get your point.
What scientific errors? Marijuana is a plant. There are mushrooms that can kill a room full of people. Meth production requires ether (or at least uses it in many cases, hence meth labs exploding). Distilling alcohol produces ethanols that can make you go blind or kill you. Not sure exactly where I was wrong.

EDIT: Upon further reading I misused the word "synthesized" with regards to alcohol. I meant distillation or purification, but still.
 
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SatansCheerledr

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#18
What scientific errors? Marijuana is a plant. There are mushrooms that can kill a room full of people. Meth production requires ether (or at least uses it in many cases, hence meth labs exploding). Distilling alcohol produces ethanols that can make you go blind or kill you. Not sure exactly where I was wrong.
Ethanol and ethyl alcohol are the same thing. Distilling does not produce ethanol, fermentation does. Distilling separates ethanol from other compounds. During the process esters are created when the reaction of one hydroxyl is replaced by an alkoxy. The esters have a lower boiling point than ethanol and are produced and discarded at the beginning of the distillation process. Esters are poisonous but in insufficient amounts to be dangerous even if left in the distilling process. They would however contribute to "Off" flavours, odors, and hangovers. There is no way to make poison from fermenting edible sugars. The "It will make you go blind or kill you" comes from unscrupulous distillers adding non edible sugars like cellulose to cut/extend the amount of ethanol produced, this is cellulsic ethanal though, poison.

Heroin is not synthesized. It is a naturally occurring alkaloid in opium, the sap of the poppy Papaver somniferum. It's against the law to grow that plant too.

You asked.
 

Neon

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#20
Ethanol and ethyl alcohol are the same thing. Distilling does not produce ethanol, fermentation does. Distilling separates ethanol from other compounds. During the process esters are created when the reaction of one hydroxyl is replaced by an alkoxy. The esters have a lower boiling point than ethanol and are produced and discarded at the beginning of the distillation process. Esters are poisonous but in insufficient amounts to be dangerous even if left in the distilling process. They would however contribute to "Off" flavours, odors, and hangovers. There is no way to make poison from fermenting edible sugars. The "It will make you go blind or kill you" comes from unscrupulous distillers adding non edible sugars like cellulose to cut/extend the amount of ethanol produced, this is cellulsic ethanal though, poison.
Ugh, could you be any more of an asshole? Yes, I wrote "produces" but you know exactly why I did. For all intents and purposes, it is produced by distillation because that is when you get it separated and in a fucking cup that you need a gauge to measure so that people don't die.

Heroin is not synthesized. It is a naturally occurring alkaloid in opium, the sap of the poppy Papaver somniferum. It's against the law to grow that plant too.
Yes, idiot, I acknowledged that I was using the word synthesize improperly. Powder or tar heroin is that opiate in a highly purified and concentrated form that you get with a bunch of complex processes, which is the thing that the government should be allowed to regulate.

Do you do customer support for Time Warner Cable? Because I didn't ask for a science lecture. You could have just said "you probably didn't mean synthesize" instead of assuming I'm a dumb child. Dick.
 

SatansCheerledr

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#21
I wrote "produces" but you know exactly why I did. For all intents and purposes, it is produced by distillation because that is when you get it separated and in a fucking cup that you need a gauge to measure so that people don't die.
wrong again.

Powder or tar heroin is that opiate in a highly purified and concentrated form
Nope.

I didn't ask for a science lecture.
Yes you did.

Name calling. I love it!

LolZ.

Science! It's right or it's wrong.
 

Neon

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Yeah I'm sure somehow semantically I'm "wrong." It's still true that distillation is dangerous because the first certain amount that comes out of the still is toxic. What, is it methanol, not ethanol? Is that the reason you're being so smug? Just fucking out with it already. Stop acting like I said unicorns come out of the still. You know exactly what I mean, which you said yourself. There's a big difference between being wrong and being inaccurate.

You're right. It's just poppy seeds all mushed together.

Yes you did.
Well now I'm asking you to drink bleach.

Name calling. I love it!
Do ya?

Science! It's right or it's wrong.
I'm not arguing the science. I'm arguing your fucking attitude.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#24
You kids need to smoke a joint.
 

SatansCheerledr

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#25
You kids need to smoke a joint.
Kids feisty! He asks me a question. I take the time answer his question. My time, I spend it on him cuz I care. I want to help. An whadda I get? With the yellin' and name callin'. Do I need this? Fuggitahbout it!

Ahh, he can go read a book! Amiright!