cannabisnews.com: Tracing Marijuana To Its Roots





Tracing Marijuana To Its Roots
Posted by CN Staff on June 22, 2007 at 07:02:52 PT
By The University of Alaska Fairbanks
Source: YubaNet.com
Alaska -- Scientists at the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility can tell whether marijuana confiscated in a traffic stop in Fairbanks likely came from Mexico or the Matanuska Valley. They're also working on a way to determine whether it was grown indoors or out.A few more years and enough samples and they hope to have something even more precise: an elemental fingerprint that could tell police where and under what conditions a sample of marijuana was grown.
"There are scientists already doing this for drugs like heroin and cocaine," said Matthew Wooller, Alaska Stable Isotope Facility director. "The potential is there for being able to do this for marijuana as well."The key lies at the atomic level. Of particular interest to Wooller and his colleagues are the stable isotopes of four elements: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen.Isotopes are atoms of elements that have the same number of protons and electrons but different numbers of neutrons. A stable isotope is one that doesn't decay over time. Those additional or missing neutrons in an isotope slightly alter the mass of the atom, allowing scientists to use a stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer to separate the light isotopes from the heavy ones and form a ratio for each sample. That ratio can tell scientists about the sample and its origins."The marijuana holds a signature of the environment that it used to be grown in," Wooller said. "It is laid down in time and preserved in the materials that make up a plant."For example, oxygen and hydrogen ratios can reveal information about the water a plant used while growing and, as a result, where it was grown. Water in Alaska and other high latitudes generally has a larger proportion of light oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes than water from locations at lower latitudes. Carbon tells another story, he said. It can offer information on whether a plant was grown outdoors or inside. Nitrogen could provide even more information.The testing at the UAF facility is novel because, for each sample, scientists are taking the isotopic signatures of four elements, rather than for just a single one, Wooller said. "We have the potential to create a precise chemical fingerprint."The marijuana research began approximately two years ago and was initially supported by a grant from the University of Alaska President's Special Projects Fund. The UAF Police Department provided the lab samples of marijuana confiscated locally."We started off running samples of unknown origin," Wooller said, noting that even those samples yielded some surprising results.Scientists initially assumed that most of the samples would show that they had been grown in Alaska rather than being imported from the low latitudes."In fact, what we saw is there are samples that are almost certainly grown in high latitude," he said. "Then you had marijuana that was clearly grown at lower latitudes."Since then, the project has expanded beyond samples of unknown origin. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement have started providing samples from grows in Alaska. Wooller hopes that, with enough of those samples, he can create a marijuana isotope map for Alaska and beyond, which could eventually allow scientists to match unknown samples with known growing locations.The project has potential to help police on multiple levels, according to Investigator Stephen Goetz at the UAF Police Department.From an evidentiary standpoint, it could tie a growing operation to marijuana seized on the street, he said, and offer evidence of both the production of marijuana and its distribution."The common denominator that people use as their defense is that (they) are growing it for their personal use only," Goetz said. If marijuana seized from a dealer, for example, matched that growing operation, it could counter such a defense, he said.It could also help the state's drug enforcement officials track the trafficking patterns of marijuana by comparing where the marijuana was grown to where it is seized, Goetz said. "It could, theoretically, focus law enforcement's efforts on where to look for (growing operations.)"In order to get the method to that level, though, Wooller said he needs time, money and many more samples of marijuana, either from known locations or that are grown in a laboratory, such as the state crime lab, under controlled conditions."We need more data," Wooller said. "We need more analyses of marijuana samples from known locations so we can create these base marijuana isotope maps." Source: YubaNet.com (CA)Published: June 22, 2007Copyright: 2007 YubaNet.comContact: news yubanet.com Website: http://www.yubanet.com/Related Articles:The High Road: Alaska Researchers Map Marijuana http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23049.shtmlAlaska Scientist Uses Isotopes To Trace Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22956.shtml
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Comment #24 posted by John Tyler on June 24, 2007 at 07:52:02 PT
waste of time
Isnít that a stupid waste of time and effort? Itís time for that silly gravy train to end.  Make cannabis legal again and have the place of origin printed on the container as in, 'Humboldt Gold, proudly grown in Humboldt County CA.', or where ever it came form. If the product should get separated from the container, so what. 
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on June 23, 2007 at 08:10:51 PT
Afterburner
Grant Krieger.Authorities are torturing the man and his family. It's not right...but oh...it's a "LAW"... and it makes the prohibs feel all warm and snuggly and safe. I'm sure the witch burners felt oh so safe and snuggly after they had punished a "witch" that broke their legal witch laws, too.People who are willing to do things to people like what they are doing to Grant Krieger and others are tuly "sick", themselves. They are sick, perverted, and very dangerous (Wolves in sheep's clothing for sure) and they need to be stopped from inflicting harm on people like Mr. Krieger.Laws have to be and sorely need changing sometimes.
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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on June 22, 2007 at 22:17:04 PT
Hope #16
CN AB: Pot Advocate Sick In Jail - Family, Calgary Herald, (21 Jun 2007)
http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v07/n741/a02.html?176
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 21:43:14 PT
Hope
When I was young I had opinions about other people but the older I got the more I realized that I was wrong. Sometimes it takes years for people to see that being critical doesn't change reality. 
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 21:42:54 PT
No body wants to hear about 
being good to a neighbor or something...or doing something right... or something good or positive or uplifting. No. they're about watching other people and put downs and "burns".If they wanted to hear about being good, and love, and mercy, tolerance, and understanding...they will not hear it on these shows. If they did act that way....and talk that way...no one would listen to them, probably.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 21:37:12 PT
Comment 17
"Why do people jab away at what they don't believe in themselves?"Making fun of people and showing how little you care and how arrogant and ignorant and misinformed you can be, seems to be profitable for some...perhaps, many.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 20:57:33 PT
And
wasting money and scientific minds on crap like in this article.That bothers me, too.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 20:57:33 PT
Hope
I wonder why it is so hard for some people to accept what they don't care about? People like different things and we all come from different places and have different backgrounds. I know people who are close minded but they are more afraid of what they don't understand then anything. Why do people jab away at what they don't believe in themselves? People will never think the same and that really should be OK. 
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 20:54:16 PT
Scary
Well, that was not what was scary. I think about how scary it is to stand up against an injustice when you KNOW that apparently, a lot of people think the way those talk show hosts think. Heck...they're teaching some people what to think, probably.Once again. Anyone pretty much, if they really want to can "smoke dope" now, with a bit of discretion. That is not the point. The point is that people, even children, are being harmed unnecessarily by prohibition. Likely much more than they would ever be harmed by adult usage.I can go years and years without a taste or a whiff. Doesn't bother me. I am not dying or afflicted with anything that's exactly unbearable. But what I really cannot bear is ...I cannot bear the pain, the sorrow, and the abuse inflicted on the people who disobey the prohibition of a non poisonous plant. I cannot bear what the drug war inflicts on people, right down to innocents and babies and the elderly...not to mention the many in between those...and really, my heart. It hurts just as bad, whether I smoked yesterday, last week, last month... ten years ago, or fifteen years sgo.It ain't about smokin anything! It ain't about smokin anything! It ain't about smokin anything!It is not about smoking it.It is not.It's about the people. It's about what's being done to the people. It's about freedom of the people, too...but for me it's about saving people from the death, misery, destruction, and mayhem or the drug war.It's the people. It' how they are being hurt and treated roughly with no sane sense of justice apparent anywhere.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 20:37:17 PT
Something else scary.
I had to listen to a talk show today out of an am station out of Dallas.Some of the stuff said... "Hemp people just wanna smoke dope! Why don't they admit it?"I'm thinking, "Why don't you admit you are some come kind of" ....well...I won't go there.They talked about Barry Cooper, too.They said they resented his and some other activists acting like they were Rosa Parks or something. They sounded like they were saying that Barry Cooper compared himself to Rosa Parks, in an interview I apparently missed, and that was just too much and it made them angry. "Rosa Parks couldn't help being black. These people can help whether they do drug crimes or not.""Hemp People" they said. They made further fun of real hemp people, by saying snide remarks about ropes and shirts and smoking them when they got in a tight and all sorts of cute, glib little funnies.I did not hear them mention medical or take phone calls. I think it was mostly about Barry Cooper and a lot of "What it "really" is", about "activists" and "Hemp people"
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 17:38:25 PT
potpal
You said it exactly as I see it too. Very scary.
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Comment #13 posted by Wayne on June 22, 2007 at 15:50:45 PT
priorities, people, priorities
"Scientists at the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility can tell whether marijuana confiscated in a traffic stop in Fairbanks likely came from Mexico or the Matanuska Valley. They're also working on a way to determine whether it was grown indoors or out."I don't suppose they could use this same technology to cure AIDS or cancer, do you think?And to think, if it were legalized tomorrow, ALL of these people would be out of a job. Gives me the shivers!
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on June 22, 2007 at 14:11:35 PT
Ridiculous
In order to get the method to that level, though, Wooller said he needs time, money and many more samples of marijuana, either from known locations or that are grown in a laboratory, such as the state crime lab, under controlled conditions.Yeah, the sick and dying wish they had more time,money and cannabis also. Most cannabis still comes from good old mother earth. She is guilty of cultivation. 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 10:49:33 PT
Hope
Money is like a powerful drug when used as a tool to bring harm to another person's liberty and rights. It fuels self righteous anger and non caring behavior and that's one of those things that I call immoral.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 10:28:18 PT
 "a motivating tool for police"
Exactly, FoM. It's about money for the police toys and extras and fees, fees, more fees, and fines out the kazoo, for everyone. It's certainly not about whats right or wrong or justice or anything or having a safe society. It's bull poop all the way.Cruelty and ignorance are big partners.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 10:14:40 PT
Hope
You will lose you license in Ohio for 6 months too but I think a person can drive to and from work. I don't like to see big fines because that becomes a motivating tool for police to chase a person over even a little amount of marijuana. The more they can collect in fines the more fancy things they probably will get like equipment and guns and stuff for swat teams.
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Comment #8 posted by whig on June 22, 2007 at 10:14:22 PT
Wernher von Braun lyrics
Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun
A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown
"Ha, Nazi schmazi," says Wernher von Braun/ G7 - C - / G7 C G7 C / G7 - C A7 / Dm C G7 C / Don't say that he's hypocritical
Say rather that he's apolitical
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun/ B7 - Em - / / G7 - C A7 / Dm C G7 C /Some have harsh words for this man of renown
But some think our attitude should be one of gratitude
Like the widows and cripples in old London town
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von BraunYou too may be a big hero
Once you've learned to count backwards to zero
"In German oder English I know how to count down
Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun
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Comment #7 posted by museman on June 22, 2007 at 10:07:42 PT
addled research
Too bad we can't use 'science' to trace back the roots of the wealth of those currently in control of the world...oh that's right we do, it's called 'history,' and history reveals the Nazi's (Bush), the racists and economic carpetbaggers (Hearst, Rockefeller) and the many other actual and real criminals who inhabit the 'good life' in the various ripped off estates valued in the millions.The fact that prohibition has never worked is obviously just too 'common sense' to the 'uncommon' superior race of the wealthy class, so employ a few 'scientists' to create another false image of 'having an effect in the war on drugs.'This kind of application of so-called 'professional skills' is the kind of thing that puts our 'institutions of higher learning' in the camp of witch-doctors and spin-doctors, whose only claim to sanity and sensibility is a piece of paper on the wall.This kind of misuse and abuse of human intelligence is right in the pocket of fascism and forced ignorance. Universities should have higher standards than to produce such traitors to truth. Is the wage worth the pain, and destruction that the results cause? I guess that if you invent the bomb, build the bomb, load it on it's delivery vessel, you aren't guilty as long as you aren't the one to use it? "It's just my job."Bah. Useless humanity.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 10:00:45 PT
Mercy should be part of the foundation for
anything a human being does.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 09:59:36 PT
Fines: $4,000.00 in Texas. $100.00 in Ohio.
Sickening. In Texas, you lose your license to drive for at least six months, as well.It's hard to get anywhere, even to work, here, without a vehicle. The only good thing I can see is maybe there will be a little less of binding citizen's hands behind their backs and transporting them to a holding pen. Maybe. I'm not just filled with joy and hope at the prospect of depending on mercy from our officers in the field. They seem to love busting Heads...and maybe even get overtime for sitting in court waiting to further destroy the citizen who dared consume or possess plant material. The more time they spend in the office booking people...the less chance they have of running into someone who might really be dangerous while out "in the field".Ridiculously slow progress is better than no progress at all. I hope.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 09:37:53 PT
Thanks Hope
I have it posted now. I liked the first part of the article but what's with $4,000 I don't understand. We can have any amount under 100 grams and the maximum fine is $100. That is fair and won't hurt most people if they have to pay $100. http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23108.shtml
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Comment #3 posted by potpal on June 22, 2007 at 09:25:38 PT
Interesting correlation
From the Star-Telegram piece...He quoted a 1999 Washington study showing that a typical arrest costs taxpayers almost $4,000, figuring in jail costs; judges' and prosecutors' time; indigent defense costs; the cost of transporting prisoners to jail and to court hearings; and the value of the arresting officer's lost patrol time.The new law does not reduce the fine or punishment for any crime. Possession of marijuana and petty theft remain Class A or B misdemeanors punishable by up to a $4,000 fine or a year in jail.$4000. So essentially it doesn't cost taxpayers nothing because they suck it out of the cannabis user (and a lot more). And that's why the lawmice wanna keep it illegal...it pays the salary of the judges' and prosecutors' lawyers, arresting officer, jail guards and wardens...
So let's see, their thinking, how can we take their money and not have to spend it on lawyers, just use it for high tech weaponry and neat stuff like that.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 08:39:58 PT
Better than a sharp stick in the eye...
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/columnists/bud_kennedy/story/145402.htmlA thrifty move: Lightening up a bit on those who light up
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 22, 2007 at 08:18:42 PT
Scientists Seek Marijuana's Isotopic Fingerprint
June 22, 2007Scientists at the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility can tell whether marijuana confiscated in a traffic stop in Fairbanks likely came from Mexico or the Matanuska Valley. They're also working on a way to determine whether it was grown indoors or out. Complete Article: http://www.physorg.com/news101728230.html
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