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No Reception? 

Editor:

When Thadeus Greenson mentioned in his article ("Slightly Less Awful," March 23) that there has never been a documented overdose death due to marijuana, it touched on something I've wondered about.

The psychotropic effect of THC is a receptor-based phenomenon. THC molecules latch onto receptors located on the surfaces of brain cells and then do whatever they do.

My question is this: What happens when all the receptors in the brain are occupied? How could additional THC have any further effect? Once all the receptors are occupied, wouldn't it be impossible to get a stronger effect by smoking more? And wouldn't that make it essentially impossible to overdose, regardless of how much you smoke?

It seems like the fact that THC receptors are limited in number would serve as a built-in governor to limit the effect of THC. Once you're saturated, that's it; you can't get any more loaded.

If all of this is correct, it would seem to offer an explanation for the remarkable safety record mentioned above, and it's good news for the consumer as well. It means that your super-strong, 20-percent plus Humboldt weed, expensive as it is, is still a good deal. You don't have to smoke nearly as much as you did back in the days of plain old 3 percent Mexican pot.

Douglas George, Eureka

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