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  1. Alfa
    USERS CUT FEDS' GRASS

    PSSST, KEEP off the government's grass. That's the message from
    medicinal marijuana smokers who have sampled Health Canada's second
    attempt at government-certified marijuana.

    The batch is being advertised as stronger and better than the first,
    which was returned by about 30% of the people who bought it. It's
    supposed to have a 12% THC level and fewer stems, making it purer smoke.

    The verdict? Strike two.

    "It's still not good enough," said Philippe Lucas of Canadians for
    Safe Access, a British Columbia group that is warning all medical
    marijuana users to stay away from the new pot until it completes new
    lab tests.

    Testing Questioned

    Lucas said there are serious fears the drug, grown by Prairie Plant
    Systems in an old mine shaft in Flin Flon, Man., has not been tested
    properly and may contain heavy metals and a group of moulds known as
    Aspergillus.

    "This is not just a matter of whether this is strong enough, it's a
    matter of health for a group of people who are seriously ill," Lucas
    said.

    Canadians for Safe Access is testing a sample now and expects to have
    results from an independent lab tomorrow. The group will also be
    testing the pot for THC levels, as people who have tried it claim
    there is no way it is as potent as Health Canada advertised.

    "The belief is that it is very similar to the first batch in terms of
    how strong it is," Lucas said.

    The first harvest was widely panned after the government said it had a
    THC level of 10% but a series of independent tests showed it to be
    more like 5%.

    After the first harvest, 93 people paid $150 for 30-gram bags and 29
    of them returned the product.

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