Marijuana: Lead-laced Pot Newest Prohibition-related Disaster

Editor's Note: Shane G. Trejo is an intern at 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.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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It seems to me the person selling added lead (HEAVY METAL) to tip the scale.

Proof that the Drug War is not about Protecting People

If the governments of the world really cared about the health and well being of their citizens, they would never allow an unregulated, criminal market for any product. The drug war is about hate. The drug war is about discrimination. The drug war is about control. The drug war is about profits. The drug war is about scare tactics. The drug war is about violence. The drug war is a scam!

Please. put an end to uncontrolled substances. Please, put an end to criminal markets. Please, put an end to health risks. Please, legalize cannabis for a safer world!

What a great country...psh

People are looking for anything possible to keep marijuana illegal

Common Sense!

Here in Kentucky there are quite a few dry states and those are the ones that bootleggers profit. A person living around these parts could drive an hour to go to a wet county to purchase their boos or a short trip to the bootlegger. The way to end marijuana street dealers would be decriminalizing it and selling it in stores. The street dealers would vanish, wouldn't they? And to purchase regulated would mean it wouldn't be laced with pcp or crack.


During the Reagan era Drug War, some coke dealers decided to play a little joke on some narcotics agents by selling them rat poison instead of coke.

The joke might have been funny, except that the narcotics agents had no intention of taking the RP-coke to a lab for analysis or booking. They had a little business on the side. The agents resold it instead. Fortunately, companies are not allowed to sell rat poison that can kill people or pets, so the health consequences were relatively minor, but of course the whole thing still sucked.

How and why the lead came to contaminate the German marijuana sample could just as well constitute a plot for a TV mini-series, for example: (Chinese toymakers, disappointed that they can no longer poison children’s toys with lead paint, have decided to poison German marijuana…etc.)

That’s a real problem with prohibition. Normal channels of communications that would prevent tainted products from reaching the market cease to exist due to law enforcement, thereby making law enforcement responsible for crafting whatever health hazard pops up by way of prohibition.


no they don't

"Because when a person goes to the store to buy liquor or beer, they know exactly what they are getting."

Well, no they don't.

Alcoholic beverages don't have an ingredients list, nor do they include the sort of nutritional labels that food products have. More shockingly, there is no requirement for a container of beer to list its alcohol content. Alcoholic beverages often contain other chemicals, a byproduct of fermentation, some of which have significant toxicity. If I buy a bottle of aspirin, I'll read the side and see a whole list of possible side-effects and counterindications. No such thing occurs with alcoholic beverages, even through their side-effects are far worse.

Even though alcoholic beverages are taxed and regulated, they are not regulated so that the consumer knows what he or she is getting.

Response to "No they don't"

That ofcourse depends on where you live.

Also, the main issue is not whether or not you get a full list of ingredients, but whether or not you can trust the distributor to any higher degree.. With publically known vendors/producers that can easily be held responsible in a court of law, you can.

A while ago a similar scam appeared in Sweden, where some drugdealer added shattered glass to marijuhana. Since the glass had been crushed so thoroughly, it appeared to be THC crystals. Ofcourse, inhaling it constituted a hazard far greater than just smoking pot.

Also, alcohol poisoning has occured to a limited extent in recent years where I live. Due to state monopoly and taxation exceeding 60%, home-made strong licquors, and illegal imports from Russia or other ex-soviet states with weak or corrupt regims appear interesting to individuals who fail to see the dangers involved and/or have a weak economy.

This market is still marginalized, most people choose to either buy licqours from other EU states or to buy through the State monopoly. Still, to anyone who can avoid ostracizing the individual consumer, it must be obvious that the system in itself breed problems. Consumers should not have to take theese kinds of risks!

IMHO, the governement should regulate and oversee the market, not actively participate in it.

The Government, "Regulation" won't solve the problem

Anything and everything can be tainted, even when regulated, from meat to spinach. The Government is not a solution.

UN Government

What i can say is that the situation in Germany is worse than ever before...And all that we are hearing from our politicians is bullshit they copied from the US 'war on drugs' as it has became manifested in the UN...

You are kidding, Right?

Agreed, regulation does not solve contamination; but it holds parties to liability. If Jack Daniels gives me "Jake Foot," for instance, it will be because of a manufacturing mistake, not deliberate poisoning. And I would have legal ability to sue for damages to compensate for my losses, without fear of breaking the law.

Besides, in today's post 911 climate, if a regulated product is tainted by foul play, this would be considered terrorism. With illegal drugs, it is considered mere cannon fodder to eliminate the 'enemy' pot smoker. The illegal pot smoker is even afraid to go to the doctor for fear of getting busted, real or not. With any regulated product today, mistakes can be very expensive. So companies go out of their way to make sure they deliver a 'relatively' safe product.

If Camel, for instance, had the legal authority to manufacture marijuana cigarettes, they would never think of putting lead, glass or rat poison in their packs. That would be pure hate.

Lead pot

Grow your own and smoke your own. You own your body not the Government. It's 4:20 April 20th yeah!!!
They're still my lungs. 4:21 4:22 4:23. Arrest me and take me to trial. Any reasonable jury should see the injustice with these laws. A jury is still more likely to be reasonable than Big Gov. Drug laws impose on all of our personal freedoms. The U.S. has in essence set up a morality Police to TELL us what we can and can't do to our own bodies. Even if the possibility of a better life might exist. J. Velasco

reasonable jury

The JUDGE will not allow juries to hear "reasonable" arguments. I had a car accident, hit by a guilty uninsured. Had to sue my insurance company. They bought a law that prevents me from uttering the word "insurance" in court - my reasonable argument for a reasonable jury was "I bought (un/under insured motorist) insurance for just this case, and they should pay me" - but the judge put the guilty penniless driver at the defendant's table and LIED to the jury saying I was suing the driver - all a lie. We have the best laws money can buy.

Reasonable arguments will cause jury nullifications all over the place - you will have law made by people - lawyers don't like that.


This was an individual in it for a quick buck and not some conspiracy, nevertheless I'm sure we will here it referenced on the floor of Parliament in England. The Lead Skunk 2 is going to take over according to those folks.

Lead Zeps the Life out of a Bag

A quick one with lead? Why not fill with oregano or a legal bud like Dro? Regulation is quality control.

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I impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon.

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