Marijuana Advocates Want to Establish a Standard Unit of Highness

Marijuana Advocates Want to Establish a Standard Unit of Highness
July 12 10:57 2019 Print This Article

What’s the weed equivalent to an alcoholic drink?

In the last few years, marijuana advocates have made impressive strides. As of this week, 24 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medicinal marijuana, and more cities and states are moving toward legalizing or decriminalizing it. However, as advocates and regulators grapple with weed’s changing legal status, there’s a big question on many people’s minds: how large should a standard dose of weed be?

When it comes to alcohol, this was settled a long time ago. According to the National Institutes of Health, a “standard” drink in the United States contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. In terms your bartender would understand, that’s how much booze is usually found in either a 12-ounce glass of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor. But while marijuana and alcohol affect people differently, there is no similar standard of what a single “unit” of weed should be, Gabe Stutman reports for Motherboard.

“Understanding your dose is essential,” George McBride, a policy officer at the Beckley Foundation, a UK-based drug policy think tank, tells Stutman. “Recommended units in alcohol is rife with problems, but at least it gives you a means to compare a shot of tequila with a pint of ale. Cannabis users have no way to compare a dab with a joint.”

Most often, weed is sold in units according to its mass or weight. Its potency, however, can vary wildly from strain to strain and has gotten much stronger over time. A recent study by researchers in Colorado found that on average marijuana is about 20 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its primary psychoactive chemical. That’s a big jump up from the 1980s, when weed often contained only about 4 percent THC, CBS News reported in 2015.

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