The Specter of GMO Pot

By Keith Kloor | August 22, 2013 5:43 pm

I surfaced briefly today, checking my Twitter feed at just the right time:

The mere thought of genetically engineered weed is a downer for organic-lifestyle potheads. To paraphrase Peter Tosh, labelize it…

MORE ABOUT: biotechnology, GMO, pot, weed
  • Jay Currie

    LOL…pot is one of the most intensively “bred” plants in the world. You don’t get 25% THC without being very serious about your genetics.

    Which, of course, will cut no ice with the dimwit anti-GMO people.

  • Wil Post

    Can I has it?

  • jh

    Oh brother.

    I voted for legalizing pot here in WA but now I deeply regret it. Stoners and part-time stoners alike are taking legalization as some kind of “see, we told you it’s good for you!” legitimization. The local NPR station can’t stop talking about the opportunities for pot farmers.

    Having worked with and known many stoners, I conclude that most have only the most tenuous grip on reality. The drug distorts their world into shapes and colors that don’t really exist, and the more dope they smoke the worse it gets. Stoners are also strongly inclined to emotional instability – easily brought to tears or anger – when insufficient substance is around to return them to their preferred state of low sensitivity. Of course they’re known for paranoia while stoned, but I find me an old stoner and I’ll find you someone that is permenantly paranoid.

    Keith – is it possible that climate alarmism is just the result of too many scientists smoking too much dope for too long? I mean, when I look at pics of some of the prime alarmists, I have to say “stoner”.

    So the last thing we need is some kind of GE hyperweed producing a hyperparanoid stoner set. Hopefully, though, they’ll be too paranoid of Monsanto or GE to try such a thing.

    • jh

      Voting down my pot-makes-people-paranoid-and-emotionally-unstable / climate-scientist-alarmists-are-paranoid-stoners post? :)

      I should have put them in separate posts so I could see which concept is the problem, or if both are. Anyone care to enlighten me?

      FYI, I concede that the climate-scientist-alarmists-are-paranoid-stoners part is somewhat speculative – a real possibility, no doubt, but speculative.

      • tennesseetuxedo59

        youi got issues ,big ones. what are you on?

    • Tim Feeley

      Have you considered that correlation is not causation? Your point is entirely fallacious. Perhaps the stoners were paranoid to begin with, and they like how cannabis affects them.

      Another fallacy: the stoners you know have a tenuous grip on reality. This statement is a generalization that is unprovable and laughable. I can say the opposite with just as much credibility. Facts are better when trying to make a point.

      You, sir, are pompous and poorly informed, but not a lost cause. I think if you smoke a joint, you will be able to relax and be less judgemental. Someday you may realize that there are a lot of smart and successful people who smoke cannabis, and you would never guess by looking or talking to them.

      “Hyperweed” could help a lot of sick people. Think about the greater good, my friend, not your own petty grievances against stoners.

      :-)

      Also, I think you need to be on something stronger than weed to become a climate alarmist!

      • jh

        “You, sir, are pompous and poorly informed, but not a lost cause. I think if you smoke a joint, you will be able to relax and be less judgemental.”

        OK, now that’s a strong argument against my position! :)

        Well, Tim, I’ve been around stoners all of my life, so I’m not “poorly informed”. I see a general pattern of behavior that occurs in stoners but doesn’t occur in people that infrequently or never smoke dope.

        “”Hyperweed” could help a lot of sick people. ”

        What total stoner-self-serving BS. For most – not all, but most – “medical marijuana” users, the “medical” claim is laughable. It’s just an excuse to sell and/or use pot. Although for every-day stoners, there is definitely a habitual “need.” And if you’re working with a stoner around dangerous equipment, it’s better that they be stoned than not. Unstoned stoners are inclined to temper tantrums and bouts of hurling dangerous objects when any little thing upsets them.

        If pot is such a wonder drug then let’s figure out how to use it like a pharmaceutical instead of like a street drug – get rid of the comical psuedo-religious paraphernalia and other trappings of the street-drug world and get down to business. Then we’ll see who really “needs” pot.

        • tennesseetuxedo59

          self appointed trolls are at it again. if you hate weed dont bother those who like it

        • Jake

          I feel like you are missing the point of the legalization campaign: Prohibition does not work. It only funnels money into organized crime. So, yeah, it may annoy you to hear about farmers and venture capitalists making money on weed. It devastates me that thousands of people are killed by organized crime – and legalization takes millions of dollars out of their pockets.

          If you think paranoia, lethargy, lack of motivation, depression, or other under-productivity can be attributed to marijuana, I think you are wrong. Self-medication is a common event for those with psychological troubles. It is not just pot, it is any substance with potential for abuse – including those more high regulated “prescription” medications.

  • mem_somerville

    That story is cracking me up. Not a shred of fact about the Monsanto link, trawled from some obscure blog.

    I’m astonished KCET gave it the light of day.

  • bobito

    I don’t think a dime bag has enough room for the warning label.

  • Odin Matanguihan

    Do insect pests get stoned too?

    • tennesseetuxedo59

      got some houseflies stoned one day in a jar. they couldnt fly and fell over when they walked. they eventually recovered and flew away none the worse for the wear lol

  • Sara Van Rooy

    Smoking anything is bad for you, though there may be benefits that mitigate this risk. The improvements are worthwhile (regardless of what technique was used) if it means users are smoking less for the same effect.

    • jh

      Pot is edible. It doesn’t need to be smoked.

  • http://rybicki.wordpress.com/ Ed Rybicki

    I love that story…so many crazy folk commenting on it! I would seriously not be surprised, though, if there was a LOT of GM weed out there – NOT produced by Monsanto, but by folk working for organisations that are considerably less visible. Or ethical, come to that. Folk who definitely won’t publish their work…B-)

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Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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