Marijuana: THC-injection fears are "idiotic," says doctor and cannabis expert

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Marijuana addiction specialist Dr. Christian Thurstone conjured images like the one seen here when, earlier this week, he shared what he sees as evidence of weed users searching for bigger and bigger highs -- and added his fear that such people may soon turn to injecting THC, the active ingredient in pot.

Dr. Bob Melamede, among the country's most vocal advocates for the medicinal benefits of cannabis, pulls no punches when asked his opinion about such a prospect. "This is nonsense," he says. "It's idiotic."

Thurstone is an extremely prominent figure locally and nationally on the subject of opposition to marijuana regulation and legalization. The medical director of a Denver Health program called Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention (STEP), he was also a member of the Amendment 64 Task Force, and he remains a primary figure in Project SAM, an organization spearheaded by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy that backs a public-health approach to pot.

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Dr. Christian Thurstone.
In "Higher and Higher, the latest blog post on his personal website, Thurstone shares statistics from urinalysis tests done on STEP patients dating back to 2007; most of them were between thirteen and nineteen when they entered the program.

According to his data, THC levels in such samples have gone up from an average of 358 nanograms per milliliter of urine prior to the 2009-2010 period that marked what he calls the "big commercialization of marijuana" -- the boom period that led to hundreds of dispensaries opening in Colorado -- to 536 nanograms. He believes the reason for this rise has to do with the increasing potency of cannabis, particularly in Colorado, and widespread diversion of medical marijuana beyond the patient population, with much of it reaching teens.

Lately, Thurstone's patients have come to him with "more severe marijuana dependence and more symptoms than teens not using medical marijuana," he told us. "And it's also consistent with the whole idea that kids are using higher potency marijuana that's probably more addictive. Anecdotally, we're hearing about patients who start with cheap, low-grade marijuana before moving on to more potent marijuana, and then other ways of consuming it: waxing marijuana, dabbing marijuana and chasing a bigger and bigger high."

For that reason, Thurstone ends his essay with this line: "It is reasonable now to question how much longer it will be before we see injection use of THC -- especially as marijuana is legalized."

When asked about this prospect, he conceded that "I have not seen it clinically, and I have not seen it described except in research studies, which say it's possible to have an injectable form of marijuana. I don't know exactly how to do the preparation, to be honest, and I don't know how the high would differ. I can only hypothesize."

Immediately after our post's publication, we began hearing from readers saying that injectable THC has not been developed at this point, and may never be. One memorable note asserted that "THC is a terpene, a sap, it would be akin to injecting turpentine into your veins." The reader added, "You might as well write an article about glue huffers potentially shooting up glue."

Armed with these assertions, we reached out to Melamede, a member of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs faculty who's previously appeared in this space and shared a spot on a High Times Cannabis Cup panel about hash with Westword medical marijuana critic William Breathes back in 2012. We wanted to find out if he agreed with Thurstone's critics -- and it turns out that for the most part, he does.

Continue for more of our interview with Dr. Bob Melamede.


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58 comments
hughesfrank67
hughesfrank67

i found this via google search on how to abuse thc with a needle so yesh i can see others doing it  all the shotters ive met in my life are addicted more to the process then the drug in there dealivery system.

armyoftheforest
armyoftheforest

Next week, all people who have had flu shots are now, needle addicts, where's my consulting fee?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Can one shoot a '5-Hour-Energy' ?

Wouldn't it be decreased to more like an insane 20 min sugar boost ?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** CU-Boulder student naked, high on mushrooms rescued from Flatirons ***

Boulder rangers rescued a University of Colorado student over the weekend after she got high on mushrooms and took off all her clothes while climbing the Third Flatiron, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

The student, 21-year-old Taylor Powers, was climbing with her roommates at around 5:24 p.m. Sunday when they called police saying Powers was high on mushrooms and in distress. Rescuers arrived and found Powers had removed all of her clothing and was being restrained by her roommates.

Rangers handcuffed her and were able to secure her. It took rescuers about an hour to get her to a nearby shelter. At 7:50 p.m., Powers was transported to Boulder Community Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Powers was ticketed with unlawful consumption of a controlled substance. Officials indicated there could be additional charges filed against others involved in the incident.

                                      *** Just Legalize It !! ***

shamanhawk
shamanhawk

Obviously, to have that fool Thurstone on a panel that Colorado taxpayers paid for, the "fix" was in. Gov. Hick should have enough intelligence to know that at minimum, a huge study would need to be done. For Christians sake, he should lose his medical license to even propose such a thing.  This whole legal Cannabis is a political Cash Grab.   DUID' are just part of the Cash Grab.  

They could care less about "impaired driving".  That's for these "it's for the kids sake" (right-lol) fanatics to blow hard about.  Nice move driving kids to Drugs that are easy to carry and Don't Smell.  Oxy's anyone?  Designer drugs?  Or worse, Alcohol, just like the old days.  How about a FULL Pharmaceutical test.  Xanax anyone? 

Remember when Hickenlooper ran for Mayor and did those ads about cutting off parking meters as the cost was to high?  Well, these DUID's are gonna cost Coloradans a frickin' FORTUNE!  

This is simple:  Have Police do a impaired driving roadside test in front of his dashboard camera to it can be shown in court.  IF you are pulled over by Police and threatened with DUID, DEMAND a roadside test with camera on.  AND, demand a Jury Trial.  Use the system for you. Then we'll see who was "stoned" making policy.  Put down the bong long enough to learn your rights.  

Remember, the V.A. Hospital accepts Medical Marijuana for treatment of PTSD.  So all our hero soldiers are exposed to DUID's.  Cannabis saves lives of PTSD patients.  This law is downright Unpatriotic!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/health/policy/24veterans.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

My guess is around 50 nanograms is about right. 

Me, I'm more worried about Fracking Cocktails in my water supply.  Benzene shots for anyone? 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Christian Thurstone is proof that any idiot can become a Doctor ... as Rob Corry is proof that any fool can become a Lawyer.


betweenthecheeks
betweenthecheeks

I want to personally thank the Governor for choosing guys like Christian Thurstone to 'lead' the way on A64's implementation as prominent members of his hand picked 'task force'.  If a governor can't hook his buddies up with cool jobs, what good is he? :)

RevRayGreen
RevRayGreen

oh yeah that Turd came to Iowa to scare people recently....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Medical Marijuana Bill Heads To Illinois Governor

The governor has said he will keep an open mind on medicinal marijuana legislation which Friday made it to his desk.  The Illinois Senate voted 35-21 today in approving a four-year pilot program which boasts of being the most restrictive prescription marijuana program in the nation. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia already allow medical pot.  The measure had already passed the Illinois House. 

“This bill is filled with walls to keep this limited,” said the sponsor, State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton). “We have learned from California and Colorado and Michigan and other states … most of them have done it sloppily.”  The bill carries a list of 33 diseases for which marijuana can be prescribed, limits the number of growers and dispensers, and requires evidence of a bona fide doctor-patient relationship.

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

If people could somehow inject some element of pot to get even higher I'm pretty sure they would have been doing it long before now...

Patrick Raspberry
Patrick Raspberry

Its the same concept as funneling a beer into your ass...although its fucking dumb, people still do it.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"Some of this stuff is just so stupid," [Melamede] says, "that it reflects on the competence of the people making these statements."

This is exactly why we knew from the beginning that Reefer Madness Doctor Christian Thurstone is full of shit.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

I wonder how much of the money that assclown makes comes from courts ordering kids into "marijuana rehab."

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

Yeah and the next thing that you're going to try to get me to believe is that smoking the devils lettuce doesn't make people play the piano at very high rates of speed. Who do you think that you're fooling?

fadedblueeyes
fadedblueeyes

what an idiot, if this worked wouldn't it be happening already. this idiot shouldn't have a job as anything but a kennel cleaner at the local dog pound.


Monkey
Monkey

I'm more interested in Washingtons new proposed rules than shooting THC. Where's that coverage? They don't want to sell hash, growers and retailers can't be the same business and only $1000 license fee. Plenty more information out there, but we are still talking about mainlining THC? Dabs are just a trend for youngsters that can't find good weed and like blow torches. If we keep degrading our commercial weed, there will be people interesting in chasing the green dragon, but if we let small scale growers enter the playing field and halt the monopolies our state proposes, we'll have good buds again, and shooting drugs will be for junkies, not stoners. Washington wants to promote the small grower, Colorado wants to kill them. I'm surprised the westword doesn't have an article on the Washington rules that came out yesterday, they sound very interesting. We are defiantly going it two different directions, and all we do is dream of injecting THC because our commercial weed sucks. 

red.macbastard
red.macbastard

Next thing you know diabetics will be injecting insulin. Oh, wait a sec...

ethernot
ethernot

Thurstone is also mentioned prominently in the White House 2013 National Drug Control Strategy (page 65), so apparently this is the kind of "science" that's driving policy …

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16 topcommenter

Prohibitionism is intensely, rabidly, frantically, frenetically, hysterically anti-truth, anti-freedom, anti-public-health, ant-public-safety, and anti-economy.

An important feature of prohibitionism (which it closely shares with fascism) is totalitarianism. That means: A police state apparatus; widespread surveillance, arbitrary imprisonment or even murder of political opponents, mass-incarceration, torture, etc.

Like despicable, playground bullies, prohibitionists are vicious one moment, then full of self-pity the next. They whine and whinge like lying, spoilt brats, claiming they just want to "save the little children", but the moment they feel it safe to do so, they use brute force and savage brutality against those they claim to be defending. 

Prohibitionists actually believe that they can transcend human nature and produce a better world. They allow only one doctrine, an impossible-to-obtain drug-free world. All forms of dissent, be they common-sense, scientific, constitutional, or democratic, are simply ignored, and their proponents vehemently persecuted.

During alcohol prohibition (1919-1933), all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. While battling over turf, young men died, every day, on inner-city streets. Corruption in Law Enforcement and the Judiciary went clean off the scale. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have been far more wisely allocated. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, in 1929, the economy collapsed. Does that sound familiar?

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

I think this "doctor" looks at the Stop Smoking Marijuana page too much. People be bonging the devils lettuce in their arms lol. Ridiculous

Patty Leidy
Patty Leidy

He's a tool ..I'd say it to his fear mongering,self serving face too...

Testecleese
Testecleese

Thurstone's Refer Madness 3.0 is entertaining, I suppose. But, anyone who has used cannabis more than a couple of times will see how nutty his opinion really is. Fear mongering for personal profit...the guy is a real piece of work.

John Dalby
John Dalby

That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. It's just a self serving statement of a man trying to earn a living treating a non existent condition. That, people, is what we commonly refer to as a dickhead...

hurfdurf
hurfdurf

Why do you keep reporting that SAM advocates a "public health approach" when they really advocate locking up anyone that has anything to do with growing or selling pot and forcing anyone that enjoys using it into treatment? 

Chris Bastian
Chris Bastian

So needles are the next step? That's like saying people are going to start snorting ibuprofen instead of swallowing pills...because it works faster right?

Rich Carollo
Rich Carollo

His job is to treat people for addiction, of course he's going to use every scare tactic in the book and exaggerate claims from the weakest studies to grow his business. Extremely slimy tactic and person.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Is "Dr" Melamede a real doctor?

... like Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, Dr. Ruth or Dr. Dre?

Nick Browning
Nick Browning

Beyond the point of hilarity and rationality..

armyoftheforest
armyoftheforest

@DonkeyHotay   Wow, mushrooms are pot. Wtf have I been doing this whole time. Genius subterfuge aka obfuscation.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@shamanhawk "Put down the bong long enough to learn your rights."

If the brain-dead bong-sucking stoners were capable of that, they wouldn't have voted for the festering turd known as A64!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@shamanhawk ... don't forget, Radical Blunderbuss SUPPORTED that festering turd A64 ... which explicitly SURRENDERED TOTAL CONTROL of Marijuana over to the Prohibitionist Politicians, Insatiable Dept. of Revenue and the Law Enforcement Goons who've been running the Drug War against pot users for the last 40+ years.

All for a pathetic ounce ... for some people, maintaining CRIMINAL penalties against 10s of THOUSANDS of ADULTS for ANY marijuana possession, use or cultivation!


A64 = Epic FAIL!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthecheeks  ... good thing that the lying liars, fools and tools who wrote and supported A64 SURRENDERED TOTAL CONTROL of marijuana over to those Prohibitionist Politicians, the Insatiable Dept. of Revenue and Law Enforcement Goons who've been running the Drug War for 40+ years.

Who knew that would have turned out badly?


fadedblueeyes
fadedblueeyes

figures Barry would listen to yet another idiot

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@malcolmkyle16 

A64 = a CONTINUATION of CRIMINAL PROHIBITION against Marijuana Users and Growers in Colorado.


fadedblueeyes
fadedblueeyes

@Chris Bastian  if it worked people would have tried it already

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  Dr. Hook and Dr. Pepper, are real  . I have personally witnessed the performance and consumption of the other .

Doctor degrees are like herpes anymore ......

armyoftheforest
armyoftheforest

@DonkeyHotay  Don't worry OxyContin makes you smart as a whip, keep upping your dosage, you will eventually reach that peak. 

  

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@hurfdurf @DonkeyHotay We've clearly got a molecular biology prof on our side. How fucking cool is that?

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