Pubdate: Sat, 09 Apr 2011
Source: Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)
Copyright: 2011 The Spokesman-Review
Author: Jim Mowreader


Registered nurse Michael Cloke recently told us (Letters, April 1) 
marijuana shouldn't be legalized because "THC" could be detected up 
to 30 days after someone uses marijuana. Hence, if you smoke a joint 
you're stoned for a month and you'd be dangerous on the highways.

Marijuana has one thing in common with every other drug: Your body 
does not want it in there. Your body will metabolize and eliminate 
any drug, whether it be pot, heroin, beer or penicillin.

Marijuana plants contain "THC-carboxylic acid" or THC-COOH. This is 
"non-psychoactive"  you can't get high off it. Heating the pot by 
burning or cooking removes the COOH group, creating psychoactive THC.

If you then inhale the smoke or eat the brownies, you'll take in THC.

While you're stoned, your body will convert THC to psychoactive 
"hydroxy-THC" or THC-OH. It will then convert THC-OH to THC-COOH and 
store that in your fat cells for the next month. Once the cycle is 
complete, you're just as capable of driving as you were before you took pot.

Mr. Cloke also mentions alcohol. It metabolizes to ethyl glucuronide, 
which stays in your system for several days  and it can be tested for.

Jim Mowreader

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom