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marijuana potency reaches 30yr high in 2007

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Marijuana potency increased last year to the highest level in more than 30 years, posing greater health risks to people who may view the drug as harmless, according to a report released Thursday by the White House.

The latest analysis from the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project tracked the average amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in samples seized by law enforcement agencies from 1975 through 2007. It found that the average amount of THC reached 9.6 percent in 2007, compared with 8.75 percent the previous year.

The 9.6 percent level represents more than a doubling of marijuana potency since 1983, when it averaged just under 4 percent.

"Today's report makes it more important than ever that we get past outdated, anachronistic views of marijuana," said John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He cited baby boomer parents who might have misguided notions that the drug contains the weaker potency levels of the 1970s.

"Marijuana potency has grown steeply over the past decade, with serious implications in particular for young people," Walters said. He cited the risk of psychological, cognitive and respiratory problems, and the potential for users to become dependent on drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

While the drug's potency may be rising, marijuana users generally adjust to the level of potency and smoke it accordingly, said Dr. Mitch Earleywine, who teaches psychology at the State University of New York in Albany and serves as an adviser for marijuana advocacy groups. "Stronger cannabis leads to less inhaled smoke," he said.

The White House office attributed the increases in marijuana potency to sophisticated growing techniques that drug traffickers are using at sites in the United States and Canada.

A report from the office last month found that a teenager who has been depressed in the past year was more than twice as likely to have used marijuana than teenagers who have not reported being depressed -- 25 percent compared with 12 percent. The study said marijuana use increased the risk of developing mental disorders by 40 percent.

"The increases in marijuana potency are of concern since they increase the likelihood of acute toxicity, including mental impairment," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the University of Mississippi study.

"Particularly worrisome is the possibility that the more potent THC might be more effective at triggering the changes in the brain that can lead to addiction," Volkow said.

But there's no data showing that a higher potency in marijuana leads to more addiction, Earleywine said, and marijuana's withdrawal symptoms are mild at best. "Mild irritability, craving for marijuana and decreased appetite -- I mean those are laughable when you talk about withdrawal from a drug. Caffeine is worse."

The project analyzed data on 62,797 cannabis samples, 1,302 hashish samples, and 468 hash oil samples obtained primarily from seizures by law enforcement agencies in 48 states since 1975.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/06/12/pot.p...y.ap/index.html


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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Mexico
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interesting.. when are they legalizing it..

Edited by pedroh

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tu eres mi vitamina del pecho mi fibra

tu eres todo lo que me equilibra,

un balance, lo que me conplementa

un masajito con sabor a menta,

Deutsch: Du machst das richtig

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Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Kuwait
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Marijuana Prohibition And Potency, Price, And Safety --

"Is Marijuana Stronger Now Than It Was Back In the '60s,

When Everyone Thought It Was Harmless?"

Analysis

By Richard Cowan

August 11, 1998

Contemporary prohibitionist propaganda has had two great marketing successes in its war on logic and meaning.

First came the Gateway, Stepping Stone, etc. "Theory," which is a classic example of the logical fallacy, Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc – "After That, Therefore Because of That." This has duped many people into believing that marijuana "leads to" hard drugs.

The second is the "New Potent Pot" line, which tells us that "marijuana stronger than it was back in the '60s, when everyone though it was harmless." These two lines are very different. See

Is marijuana really harmless, like everyone has been saying?

The "Gateway Drug" concept has run into a problem, not because it has been recognized as a logical fallacy, but rather because has been found that alcohol and tobacco are almost always used before marijuana.

This has necessitated the prohibitionists also labeling these legal products as "Gateway Drugs," which naturally discomfits their users and makers, who know that they and their friends have don’t have a craving for crack after a few beers or a Camel. That is, the average person knows by experience that this is nonsense.

However, the "new potent pot" line is intended to negate the knowledge gained by experience and thereby eliminate this type of objection. It is said that the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the principle psychoactive ingredient) levels of marijuana today is 5 to 100 – pick a number -- times higher than in the past.

Consider this from the May 19th Washington Post:

"The marijuana of the 1960s is not the marijuana of the 1990s. A rolled joint is 10 times more potent than I would remember…" The Post seems to have settled on the ten times multiple. It is their "standard."

Or this from The Vancouver Province July 5, 1998, "Twenty years ago, the maximum THC found in outdoor cultivated pot plants was around 0.5 percent. RCMP say the marijuana now being grown in B.C. can contain as much as 30 percent THC."

The notion that today’s marijuana that your children might smoke is qualitatively different from the marijuana in the past is obviously perfect for anxious parents who have been conditioned by decades of prohibitionist propaganda to feel guilty about their youthful "experimentation." In this regard it is very successful.

That there is no data to back it up is not a problem, because the usual purveyors of data – the media – are in the anti-fact business, and have enshrined the "new potent pot" line as basic part of "conventional wisdom." Everyone knows…. Actually, it is what everyone does not know that is important.

There are several important points to be learned from looking at this particular bit of prohibitionist propaganda.

Lesson One: Data, data, who’s got the data?

Any time that someone compares today’s marijuana with that of the 1960’s – or Woodstock, which is a common reference point – you can know with absolute certainly that they are lying. There is simply no data – no data – on marijuana potency from the 1960s, much less from any one concert. The first testing of marijuana for THC did not begin until the early 1970s.

Here it gets a little bit more complicated.

In 1972, the first year of official government testing for the THC level, a small sample of marijuana of unknown origin, but probably Mexican, averaged only 0.18% THC. This is below the level of industrial hemp, but this number is often used as the base for comparison to justify the high multiples.

If a visitor to the US walked out of his hotel and met a homeless person dressed in rags, and insisted that this was the typical American, ignoring everyone else in sight, you would question the visitor’s judgement -- or integrity. In effect, that is what prohibitionists are doing when they use this 1972 government number. It requires persistent dishonesty.

In their book Marijuana Myths; Marijuana Facts, Zimmer and Morgan devote a short chapter to the data on marijuana potency. I recommend this book for many reasons, but this chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

In it they point out that 1973 a private company PharmChem tested four times as many samples as the government, and the average potency was 1.62%. Did marijuana increase in potency tenfold in one year?

Also consider that one sample tested by PharmChem in 1975 was actually 14% THC, which was 20 times the average for the samples tested by the government that year.

Subsequently, private testing was prohibited, and for 20 years the only data has come from the government, but in 1980 the average potency from government testing was around 2% and has generally varied between 2 and 3% ever since.

In short, there is no data from the 60’s, and data from the 70’s does not support the notion that there was only low THC marijuana available. Bluntly, the editors or the Washington Post and the Vancouver Province, and many other papers, are either incompetent or dishonest or both.

Public officials have the obligation to report the government’s own data honestly. They do not. Remember that all of this is going on in at a time when the media are fixated on the question of whether the President of the United States should be impeached for lying about having sex with an adult.

It seems to be perfectly acceptable to lie to support the arrest of millions, including the sick and dying as part of the suppression of medical marijuana. A really bitter political satirist might come up with something like this scenario, but it would probably be rejected as too heavy-handed.

Even without access to the data there are other serious problems with the "new potent pot" line that should set off alarms for anyone capable of critical thought.

Lesson Two: Logic and reality.

Consider the simple statement "marijuana is stronger than it used to be."

Never mind the time frame. This statement has some problems that should be obvious.

First, marijuana is a plant. Has the plant really changed?

Second, marijuana is contraband. There are no standards for contraband. In some countries beer may be said to be stronger than in other countries because there are laws regulating potency – alcohol content – but there can be no standards for contraband. This means that there would have to be large scale sampling, and even then it would be hard to know how typical the samples were of the total market.

And just how did marijuana come to change? Here is where it really gets perverse. Under prohibition there is an incentive to increase the potency of contraband by volume. More bang for the bulk. This is why prohibition encourages hard drugs over marijuana. See How The Narcs Created Crack.

In other words, we are told that something that happened under prohibition, and which was encouraged by prohibition, somehow justifies prohibition.

But, in fact, it did not happen.

If you are not getting confused, you may not be paying close enough attention.

What did not happen? Marijuana did not change.

But that was never the right question, in the first place. The proper question was "Did the average potency of marijuana on the market – or the THC content of the average marijuana being sold – increase?" As we have seen, the data does not support this, but phrasing the question in this way would lead us to ask about the data. That was not the desired result. On the contrary.

Some of the more clever prohibitionist propagandists, such as those at NIDA, acknowledge that the average potency is 3%, but they say that there are "stronger forms of marijuana" available today than were available in the past.

Again, as we have seen, the data do not support this. There was marijuana with at least 14% THC available in 1975. And even if there were data from the 60s, we still could not know this to be true, because we would not know how representative the samples were then -- or are now.

Remember, we are talking about contraband.

Also there is the matter of testing techniques on the individual samples. Were they manicured down to the bud, as is often the case with the very best? Or were there leaves and seeds and stems included in the total weight, which is often the case with commercial grades aimed at "less discriminating" buyers? In other words, the packaging and preparation of the extremes will accentuate the differences.

Actually, I suspect that the very best indoor sinsemilla today is probably better than the best from the 60s. I would like to think so. I am a technological optimist. Today’s best may have a THC content in the range of 25%, depending on the sampling and testing technique.

In saying that, it is important to bear in mind that citing a number about a non-representative sample tells us nothing about the average. For example, there are billionaires in Latin America. What does that fact tell us about the average income in Latin America? Nothing.

Moreover, we do not know how good the best marijuana was in the past. We know that the indoor sinsemilla has replaced the supply once provided by the various legendary strains like Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, etc.

There has been a systematic effort to eliminate these strains that far exceeds the effort to wipe out pathogens that kill millions. However, there are still very potent outdoor grown products from various parts of the US and Jamaica, etc.

Again, we know that there is nothing new about potent outdoor marijuana, but because it is contraband, we cannot know the average potency then or now.

Of course, this is largely irrelevant, because, just as most people don’t drink 25 year-old Scotch, most people don’t smoke the most potent -- and most expensive – marijuana. Price is not the only reason for this. Some people just like beer. Which brings us to the "beer" market.

Lesson Three: What about the children?

So, yes, there is some very strong marijuana available today, just as there was in the 1960s and ‘70s. Does this pose a threat to "children?"

Well, if more potent marijuana really were more dangerous – and it is not, more on that soon – it might be a threat to very rich children. The scourge of Beverly Hills.

The fact is that most kids are very unlikely to be able to afford the stronger strains of marijuana. Kids get the cheaper stuff, in part because they have limited budgets, and partly because there are not many young connoisseurs. Consequently, when prohibitionists mix lying about potency with concern about children, this has even less to do with the real world than is usually the case.

Lesson Four: Learning from the Dutch.

Also, all this speculation requires that we continue to ignore the Dutch experience. There is some very strong marijuana available in the Netherlands, along with much that is in the American range, but people do not automatically buy the strongest.

See Go Dutch!

Experienced smokers do not always go for the "strongest" marijuana, just as people don’t drink pure grain alcohol. People find that there are strains that they like and stay with that.

One of the things that prohibitionists do not understand – or don’t want to understand – is that there are important differences in various marijuana strains other than THC levels. Again, consider that there are differences in various alcohol drinks other than alcohol content.

In some ways the differences in marijuana strains are chemically more important than the differences between beer and Bourbon. Alcohol is the only active ingredient in most alcohol drinks, but the different cannabinoids influence the quality of the marijuana high. This is one reason that many people find Marinol, the synthetic pharmaceutical version of THC to be unpleasant. In short, focusing solely on THC "potency" is misleading.

Of course, under prohibition it is very difficult to find consistent supplies, so this not only increases the emphasis on THC potency, it also makes it difficult to know the potency of any given supply.

The circumstance in which marijuana with higher levels of THC may pose a danger would be when someone does not know its potency and smokes more than necessary for the desired effect. While the onset of a high from smoking is fairly rapid, a person might take several puffs of 10% THC marijuana when they are accustomed to the same amount of 3%THC product. This can produce undesirable results. Fortunately, the effects are almost always transitory.

Lesson Five: Stronger marijuana may actually be safer.

As Zimmer and Morgan point out in Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, increased potency does not mean increased danger. In fact, just the opposite may be true.

Inasmuch as almost all smokers find being over-stoned unpleasant, people use only enough marijuana to achieve the desired effect. Insofar as the one clearly established risk in using marijuana comes from smoking, the less a person has to smoke to achieve a desired "high" the better. As noted, there is the unexpected high from marijuana of unknown potency that may pose a risk to smokers, but this is a consequence of contraband and a lack of standards under marijuana prohibition, not something intrinsic to the plant.

Lesson Six: The Political Uses of the "New Potent Pot" Argument.

As observed, the primary value of this line is that it is used to negate the experience of those who smoked in the past. However, some of the prohibitionists have become more creative.

1. Hemp is really marijuana, after all.

In one area it seemed as though this line could backfire on the prohibitionists. I have seen a number of articles about hemp in which either the journalist or hemp industry representative said that industrial hemp has only 0.50% THC, while marijuana has 10% to 15% THC. Well, how could anyone be concerned about hemp, if marijuana has 20 to 30 times more THC?

However, now the prohibitionists are opposing hemp by saying that the marijuana smoked back in the 1960s and ‘70s had only 0.50% THC. In other words, the hippies were smoking hemp. Clever, eh? See

"Wild marijuana can lead youths to get addicted to other drugs:" The Rationale For Ditchweed Boondoggle

2. More potent marijuana is qualitatively different and causes violence and addiction.

The above noted article from the Vancouver Province quotes an RCMP nark, Sgt. Chuck Doucette of the RCMP Drug Awareness Unit, as a saying, "The new marijuana is highly addictive. The experts are seeing a rapid increase in behavioral problems among users. There are acts of aggression, leading to assaults and even murders." Imagine someone saying that the effects of whisky are qualitatively different from beer.

But of course, this is classic reefer madness. The problem here is that if it takes the "new potent pot" to cause addiction and violence, why were they saying the same thing sixty years ago? Prohibition causes long-term memory loss.

3. The "new potent pot" is worth a lot of money, and involves organized crime.

One of the oddest things about prohibitionism is that it treats making money in a capitalist society as an intrinsically evil thing. The business of America is business, but making money on marijuana is morally wrong, unlike making money on guns, beer, etc. Consequently, we are supposed to be outraged and alarmed when we are told that the "new potent pot" sells for thousands of dollars per pound, and even that it is traded pound for pound for cocaine. This makes it morally worse than ordinary marijuana. Of course, this leads to Organized Crime!

This is the classic case of prohibition, of course. The high prices and criminal activity are the result of the laws against marijuana, not of marijuana itself.

Many people may even understand this obvious point, and still be outraged by the high prices, or the size of the market, as though this were some sort of moral insight.

If this moralistic outrage were happening in a socialist country, it would at least be consistent with the dominant philosophy, but in America???

Conclusions: What will be the impact of legalization on potency, price, and safety?

1. What will happen to average potency when marijuana is legalized? It will be known.

At present, we really do not know what the average potency of marijuana has been or may be. There is no evidence or other reason to think that it has changed substantially over the last 30 years, but we simply do not know. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

2. Inasmuch as marijuana that is somewhat stronger than today’s presumed average is probably desirable, then average potency available to most users may increase, but there will be choice. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

3. There will be less focus on THC potency and more on other qualities. There will be a recognition of qualitative differences in various strains, as is the case in Holland today. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

4. The highest prices will almost certainly fall substantially. This will decrease the incentive for maximizing THC potency, which is a characteristic of contraband markets. (Contraband risk premiums will be replaced with taxes and other costs, so the price of the average grade may not fall as much.) This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

5. The lowest grade will almost certainly disappear, which is good because of uncertain purity. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

6. People will be able to find the safest and most satisfying way of using the plant. This is especially important in use for self-medication in sub-clinical conditions in which self-medication is the accepted norm in our society. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

7. Regulations can be focused on maintaining quality and minimizing use by children. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

8. Information will be credible and education believable. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

9. The actual dangers in marijuana will be recognizable and can be more easily dealt with by both society and the individual. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.

10. People will be able to grow their own and have a personal relationship with their plants, gaining an insight into their relationship with Creation and the Creator. This is impossible under marijuana prohibition.


A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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interesting.. when are they legalizing it..

not soon enough


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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interesting.. when are they legalizing it..

not soon enough

then we'll see less of certain posters around here.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Kuwait
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then we'll see less of certain posters around here.

Why the need to be so sarcastic? I guess if you go through chemo, that you should just suck it up and deal with it, and don’t smoke a joint to feel better. I really honestly hope you stay healthy and never face hard decisions, you know what it is like to throw up for 4 hours because of chemo? Can you even begin to understand the panic of going to get treatment that you know is going to make you extremely sick? I will talk to you any time anywhere about the thrills of chemo, and the hell of knowing this is you’re only shot to live. Not all people who smoke marijuana are hippies or what you would consider losers, your education seems a little short when it comes to this topic. There were many of days I chose marijuana over morphine; one is illegal and the other prescribed. Morphine is a strong drug that I really prefer not to take if I have the option of marijuana.

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A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Light it up 420 style wheres my taco bell.


Citizenship

Event Date

Service Center : California Service Center

CIS Office : San Francisco CA

Date Filed : 2008-06-11

NOA Date : 2008-06-18

Bio. Appt. : 2008-07-08

Citizenship Interview

USCIS San Francisco Field Office

Wednesday, September 10,2008

Time 2:35PM

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Don't remember where but I heard there is an up coming remake of Reefer Madness! :lol:

Also Halfbaked is such a GREAT movie!

ADULT LANGUAGE WARNING:

is it just me or does that guy look like Steven Colbert?


K-1 timeline

05/03/06: NOA1

06/29/06: IMBRA RFE Received

07/28/06: NOA2 received in the mail!

10/06/06: Interview

02/12/07: Olga arrived

02/19/07: Marc and Olga marry

02/20/07: DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AOS Timeline

03/29/07: NOA1

04/02/07: Notice of biometrics appointment

04/14/07: Biometrics appointment

07/10/07: AOS Interview - Passed.

Done with USCIS until 2009!

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Egypt
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marijuana potency reaches 30yr high in 2007..... :wacko:


Don't just open your mouth and prove yourself a fool....put it in writing.

It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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then we'll see less of certain posters around here.

Why the need to be so sarcastic? I guess if you go through chemo, that you should just suck it up and deal with it, and don’t smoke a joint to feel better. I really honestly hope you stay healthy and never face hard decisions, you know what it is like to throw up for 4 hours because of chemo? Can you even begin to understand the panic of going to get treatment that you know is going to make you extremely sick? I will talk to you any time anywhere about the thrills of chemo, and the hell of knowing this is you’re only shot to live. Not all people who smoke marijuana are hippies or what you would consider losers, your education seems a little short when it comes to this topic. There were many of days I chose marijuana over morphine; one is illegal and the other prescribed. Morphine is a strong drug that I really prefer not to take if I have the option of marijuana.

why do you feel so defensive?


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Seeing things that arent there? :whistle:


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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