- Category: Getting Along
- Published on Friday, June 01 2012 01:48
- Written by Rod Hughes
- Hits: 568
Better-heeled Ticos, professionals and high school students of rich parents, can afford a class of scientifically-grown marijuana that gives a higher high, according to the newspaper La Nacion.
Raised indoors under carefully controlled conditions, the luxury marijuana yields 25-30% more THC, the active ingredient in pot that gives the user the high -- if they can afford it.
The newspaper accurately referred to the planting sites as "laboratories" equipped with hydroponic nurturing of the roots with nutrients, illumination and temperatures fully controlled.
But the careful hiding of lab facilities in the Central Valley have not prevented police from seizing 14 of the expensive labs last year. (Use of marijuana is not illegal here but production and distribution are.)
The clandestine hydroponic strain is known by the English designation "creepy." A single ounce goes for $200, meaning that a single joint sets the user back some 10,000 colones, as opposed to the regular weed at about a thousand colones.
The high THC content, reported the paper, increases risk of psychological -- rather than physical -- addiction. Carried in the blood to the brain, it decreases stress, sharpens senses, increases appetite and depresses the central nervous system.
Just in case someone thinks of pot as "the good drug," the paper notes that experts say that marijuana contains more carcinogenic substances than tobacco, which has been thoroughly demonized in this country.
The first hydroponic plantation here seized by police was in San Pedro in 2003. This operation, valued at about a million dollars, lost 30 lbs of processed pot confiscated.
The hydroponic technique became more prevalent after 2009. Until now, the police have seized around 10,000 plants. May 17, police arrested nine Cubans, a Spaniard and a Tico in conjunction with dismantling three labs in Heredia and San Carlos. The day before, they arrested a pair accused of running a hydroponic lab in Santa Ana.