Editor's Note: Shane G. Trejo is an intern at StoptheDrugWar.org. His bio is in our "staff" section.
It turns out that prohibition has found an effective way to make marijuana truly toxic. As seen in Germany where marijuana has been tainted with lead in order to increase its weight and increase profits an estimated $682 per pound:
One bag bought from a dealer even contained lead particles big enough to see, which meant the lead must have been added deliberately, rather than being absorbed into the plant from contaminated soil. … The authorities do not know where the tainted marijuana came from or why the lead was added, but the German police suspect that it was done to make money. The samples tested contained 10 percent lead by weight, which translates into an increased profit of about $682 per pound of marijuana.Maybe Fox News was onto something when they reported about the killer weed. Of course, legalization and regulation would solve any tainted supply problems of not just marijuana but any drug. If policy makers had any concept of history, they would realize this. Look at what happened during alcohol prohibition in the 1920s:
Highly toxic wood alcohols found their way into much of the available bootleg liquor. When denatured industrial alcohol was not sufficiently diluted, or was consumed in large quantities, the result was paralysis, blindness and death. In 1927, almost twelve thousand deaths were attributed to alcohol poisonings, many of these among the urban poor who could not afford imported liquors. In 1930, U.S. public health officials estimated that fifteen thousand persons were afflicted with "jake foot," a debilitating paralysis of the hands and feet brought on by drinking denatured alcohol flavored with ginger root.When was the last time you saw an American alcohol consumer come down with a case of jake foot? That’s right, never. Because when a person goes to the store to buy liquor or beer, they know exactly what they are getting. I can’t for the life of me remember any deception-related scandals or recalls related to alcohol suppliers. Elected officials choose to ignore the lessons that history has taught us. And as a result, over 100 people have been poisoned in Germany after having to buy marijuana from an unregulated, criminal market. Society suffers while the perpetrators can continue to sell the lead-laced pot with no accountability or consequences.