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Half Baked

Shattering a myth perpetuated in stoner comedies from Half Baked to Pineapple Express, a new Washington Post article reveals that government marijuana is not, in fact, that sticky-icky, but dry-ass dirt weed of the sort you usually buy from someone’s cousin in the parking lot of a Ratt concert. We know this, of course, because recreational marijuana is now legal in several states, allowing mainstream publications like WaPo to compare the relative dankness of samples grown by the National Institute on Drug Abuse with those from commercial cannabis growers in Washington. Here, look at this shitty government schwag full of stems and seeds. Would Dave Chappelle smoke this every day?:

Photo: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies / The Washington Post

All joking aside, the government’s inability to pick up an issue of High Times and figure out that weed’s supposed to be majority buds has some serious implications for scientific marijuana research. By federal law, studies on the potential medical benefits (or risks) of cannabis have to be performed with samples provided by the NIDA, which bear little resemblance to what’s commonly available on either the legal or black markets.

This awful ditchweed is particularly low in THC—as low as 8 percent, whereas high-end strains can top out at 30 percent—making it next to impossible for researchers to accurately gauge its effects compared to those experienced by the average consumer. As WaPo puts it, “It’s akin to investigating the effects of bourbon by giving people Bud Light.” (Not that the federal government is particularly open to studies on the benefits of marijuana in particular, but that’s another story.)


Things may soon change slightly, though; in an email, a NIDA rep says, “NIDA does plan on growing some additional marijuana this year and harvest some high THC material that will likely be above 13 percent THC,” but that’s still 6 percent lower than what you’ll get from your average Colorado dispensary.

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