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U.S. marijuana stronger than ever

By kurtrat     Apr 25, 2007 in Health
Marijuana being sold across the U.S. is stronger than ever. Government drug "experts" say this explains the rising number of medical emergencies involving the drug.
Given their history, it is difficult for people to take American drug "experts" seriously when these are the people who basically put marijuana and heroin in the same category.
But now, the University of Mississippi's Marijuana Potency Project has reported that the average levels of THC, marijuana's active ingredient, in seized marijuana rose from 7 percent in 2003 to 8.5 percent in 2006. The level has grown from 3.5 percent in 1988.
So--this is not your parents' marijuana?
The White House and National Institute for Drug Abuse said that analysis of seized samples of marijuana and hashish show that more of the cannabis on the market is the "strongest grade."
National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Nora Volkow believes the problem is not taken seriously because many adults remember the "marijuana of their youth as harmless."
"It's really not the same type of marijuana," Volkow said. "This could explain why there has been an increase in the number of medical emergencies involving marijuana."
What medical emergencies? I don't mean to be cynical, but the article does not actually cite any medical emergencies caused by marijuana use. Once again, this makes it harder to believe the experts--many of us still remember the much-cited claim that marijuana automatically leads to heroin addiction.
According to the pharmacy department at Mississippi, "The highest concentration of (THC) found in a cannabis (marijuana) sample is 33.12 percent from Oregon State Police."
Hashish and hash oil concentrations are much higher.
John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy, said that "This report underscores that we are no longer talking about the drug of the 1960s and 1970s..."
Of course, if so-called drug experts in the U.S. had been honest to begin with, teaching us realistically about drugs, it would be easier to listen to them now. But many of us probably still remember the equivalent of Reefer Madness being taught to us in school.
Volkow said that this stronger marijuana is addictive. "If children and adolescents use marijuana, it could affect their still-developing brains."
Her report said that over 60 percent of teens receiving treatment for drug abuse or drug addiction cite marijuana as their primary drug.
"Although the overall number of young people using marijuana has declined in recent years, there is still reason for great concern, particularly since roughly 60 percent of first-time marijuana users are under 18 years old," Volkow said.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.1 million Americans, or 1.7 percent of the population, report that they use marijuana.
I don't wish to sound pro drug use, but where are the medical emergencies here? The article does not mention anyone being rushed to the emergency room due to a marijuana overdose.
I agree that addiction is serious and that people need to be careful not to injure their brains. But this article in Reuters was hard for me to take seriously because it cited a growing number of medical emergencies from marijuana use but then did not mention even a single one.
I don't mean to take drug addiction lightly. But I also don't like current legislation that punishes marijuana users so harshly. For the government to be taken seriously on drug abuse, it has to move past the simplistic "just say no" ideology and tell us the true scientific facts.
Lately our government has not exactly set a record for honesty.
More about Marijuana, Stronger, Hashish