Is Legal Marijuana Safe In Washington State? Independent Study Says No
Recreational users and medical patients to picket recreational outlet store in Seattle
Along with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington came reassurances that the products offered to the public for consumption would be lab tested for safety and consistency.
A recent study by a Washington state physician that is documented by Seattle Times reporter Evan Bush* shows this is far from the case. The doctor says, “The public is being lied to about the state marijuana being properly tested for safety. It is not!”
Two weeks ago emergency trauma physician Gil Mobley, MD, purchased seven various marijuana products from two different stores in the Seattle area licensed by the state to sell recreational marijuana. The samples were delivered to five different Seattle area marijuana testing labs and one in Portland to undergo an extensive battery of tests.
“I was shocked at the results as every citizen from the state should be, especially those who have been misled into believing that they are consuming safe and quality tested cannabis products,” Dr. Mobley saikd. “Anything coming out of these stores should be considered unsafe until proven otherwise, and the industry is years away from that goal.”
Specifically, the study showed an alarming fivefold variance in the amount of psychoactive THC between the state approved labs performing the testing on the same product. That is a 500 percent difference.Additionally, four labs found four different retained solvents in concentrates that none of the other five labs found: methanol, isopropanol, acetone and alkane, all classified as poisons.
Mobley said that equally as disturbing is the fact of 248 pesticides are approved to use on cannabis plants in the state yet there is not one lab in Washington capable of testing for these poisons. He was astonished that this was “news” to the state’s marijuana examiner, Tim Gates, only two weeks ago. (The samples had to be transported illegally to a neighboring state for pesticide testing.)
Steve Sarich, the executive director of the Cannabis Action Coalition agreed, criticizing the agency in charge of regulating the recreational drug.
“The Liquor Control Board is telling the Legislature that patients ‘will be safer’ if they are forced into the recreational system because their products are being ‘tested,'” Sarich said. “In fact, not one of these products has ever been tested for dangerous pesticides.
“The reality is that patients’ lives could very well be put in danger by using these any of these products,” Sarich said. “It’s time for the LCB to start telling the truth to the press and to the Legislature about their total lack of pesticide testing.”
“Until the state institutes a quality assurance plan for these labs and begins proficiency testing for accuracy, my advice for the recreational consumers and medical cannabis patients alike is to stay away from the stores and don’t use any cannabis products unless you know exactly who grew or produced them,” Dr. Mobley said.
“That’s the epitome of hypocrisy; the legislature should be ashamed of themselves for not protecting the public! This is all about money and it is reprehensible for public health to take a back seat to state profits,” Mobley said.
The pot protest will take place on Tuesday morning, April 7, 2015, at 11 am in front of Uncle Ike’s recreational marijuana store at 2310 East Union Street in downtown Seattle. The event has been timed to coincide with proposed legislation in Olympia sharply restricting the current provisions for medical marijuana patients.
*Evan Bush has been following this demonstration project closely for a month now. He followed Dr. Mobley for 7 hours last month, documenting the study, taking numerous pictures and witnessed delivery of the samples to the lab and the ensuing discussions with the certifying scientists. There have been dozens of email correspondences, dozens of texts and dozens of phone calls. His editor, Matt Kreamer has requested that Dr. Mobley clarify that the above mention of Evan’s careful and thorough “documenting” the study does NOT imply it will be covered or reported in The Seattle Times.