Stronger Marijuana? Addiction! (Nuts)

By Panthers007 · Jun 12, 2008 · ·
  1. Panthers007
    Here we go again. The White House has spoken through one of it's (cancerous) organs:

    Study: Marijuana potency increases in 2007

    WASHINGTON — 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    "Today's report makes it more important than ever that we get past outdated, anachronistic views of marijuana," said John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.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.


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  1. RaverHippie
    Another one of those stories you read that prompts a swift banging of the head onto the keyboard over the ludicrous bullshit you just read after you realize plenty of people will accept this as truth.
  2. Panthers007
    From my ongoing "Field-Taxonomy" project of speaking with as many people as possible from all over the USA - and all walks of life, religion, persuasion, and all - I have some good news to report.

    The vast majority of Americans (US variant) don't believe a word that flows from the lips of George Bush and his toadies & sycophants. Bush & Co. has utterly destroyed their credibility on all subjects they speak of. They didn't just throw the baby out with the bathwater - they were filmed stuffing Little Eggbert down the plughole with a plunger.

    So every time the White House jumps behind some issue, like addictive pot and depressed children, people will now believe the opposite to be true. They blew themselves to bits! Let's hope they bring up some more issues to go against: Acid Rain. Global Warming. Peace & Love. Little things like that. This has some unpredictable rebound effects unfortunately. Such as having no trust or faith in anybody, but it's better than it was. The only ones still singing their praises to Jesus Bush and Onwards Christian Soldiers are the loudest voices. The loudest voice wants you to believe, because they scream the loudest and they scream first, that they are obviously representing the majority of the people. But very, very few are buying it anymore.

    He's dead, Jim. Beam him up.
  3. MrG
    Oh Lordy, the British Government has been chatting to Dubya again.

    They've been running that tired line for a couple of years now with tabloid headlines screaming about Skunk Weed Psycho Killers etc. etc. (Hey that sounds like a cool name for a band!).

    I guess they figure that modern parents don't see the harm in people smoking a bit of weed as they might well have done it themselves during their university years in the 60's and 70's. So the government decided to scare the bejesus out of 'em by constantly harping on about how the weed nowadays is this potent hybrid "skunk" that will turn their kids into psychotic axe murderers.

    Christ I hate politicians.
  4. radiometer

    Wanted: Dead or Alive

  5. cosmicruler
    Quote"Bush & Co. has utterly destroyed their credibility on all subjects they speak of. They didn't just throw the baby out with the bathwater - they were filmed stuffing Little Eggbert down the plughole with a plunger"

  6. Swimmortal
    I stopped reading after "White House".

    These comments are indicating I made the right choice.
  7. Euphoric

    So if marijuana users are 200% as likely to have suffered from depression than non-smokers, and marijuana smokers are 140% more likely to develop mental disorders... then mental disorders are caused by marijuana and not by other mental disorders (depression) right? That makes sense...
  8. Nature Boy
    9.6% THC weed isn't exactly mind-blowing either. Aren't standard Dutch strains around 12%? And obviously, stronger hooch requires a smaller glass. Seeing as marijuana costs more to cultivate now, costs more to buy on the street now and people generally have more money these days, of course the black market will attempt to increase the potency. Increased potency as opposed to adulterants isn't exactly a bad deal at all.
  9. cosmicruler
    yea 9.6% doesnt sound that great at all!!
    swim thought good strains were in the 20%+ bracket??
    swim nos AK47 had the highest THC rating for quite a few years @21.9%,and this was early 2000s!!
    some1 in swims home town was busted recently and there crop was sent for scientific evaluation and it came back with a 19% THC count!!!highest ever tested in swims country or some shit...
  10. Paracelsus

    One of the comments: "Soon ONDCP will claim that today's marijuana is 100% THC and 50% methamphetamine."
  11. RaverHippie
    Response from alternet to the article panthers posted

    In what is becoming a nearly annual ritual, on June 12 the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released yet another report filled with dire warnings about rising marijuana potency. And the U.S. media -- led by the Associated Press, by far the nation's most powerful wire service -- once again mistakenly treated the story as if it was actual news.

    AP's story, picked up by newspapers and TV and radio stations all over the country, began, "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."

    One had to read six paragraphs into the story to get the first hint of a dissenting view, voiced by Dr. Mitch Earleywine, author of the book, Understanding Marijuana. Earleywine, a substance abuse researcher and psychology professor at the Albany campus of the State University of New York, noted that marijuana smokers simply smoke less when the product is more potent, just as drinkers imbibe smaller quantities of bourbon or vodka than they do of beer. Since the only serious proven harm from marijuana use consists of coughing and other respiratory symptoms caused by inhalation of smoke, higher potency marijuana is arguably healthier, since smoke intake is reduced.

    But the AP story -- and most other coverage -- was dominated by dark suggestions of the dire consequences of this new "potent pot." ONDCP chief John Walters warned of the "serious implications" of increased potency, saying, "Today's report makes it more important than ever that we get past outdated, anachronistic views of marijuana."

    And Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, added, "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."

    The operative word in Volkow's statement is "might." The claim that higher-potency marijuana means greater risk of addiction is entirely speculative, supported by precisely zero data. That, too, was pointed out by Earleywine, but in a comment buried at the very end of the story.

    And not acknowledged anywhere, either by AP or most other news outlets, is the very large body of evidence suggesting that the whole "it's not your father's marijuana" scare story is phony. To understand why, a bit of context -- almost never provided by U.S. mass media -- is necessary.

    First, the average potency level of 9.6 percent THC that has ONDCP so alarmed (and which overstates the potency of most domestic marijuana, which is around 5 percent) is actually low by world standards. As reported in the new edition of The Science of Marijuana, by Oxford University pharmacologist Dr. Leslie Iversen, the average THC content of seized marijuana products in Britain from 1998 to 2005 ranged from 10.5 percent to 14.2 percent. In the Netherlands, where marijuana is available by prescription through conventional pharmacies, the minimum permissible THC content set in government standards for medical cannabis (except for one special variety developed specifically to be high in cannabinoids other than THC) is 13 percent.

    In other words, the minimum acceptable THC content for medical marijuana in the Netherlands is over one-third higher than the level that has Walters and Volkow in such a tizzy.

    And more sober analysts around the world continue to be far less certain than U.S. drug warriors that potency is of great consequence. In a report issued earlier this spring, the British government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (of which Iversen is a member) expressed some ambivalence about the issue. While acknowledging a concern about young people using high-THC marijuana, the ACMD noted that most users may simply smoke less. It also noted that while potency has clearly increased in the United Kingdom over time, "there has been no concomitant reported increase in enquiries to the National Poisons Information Service nor an increase in hospital admissions due to cannabis intoxication."

    A new analysis by a group of Australian researchers, published online May 20 by the journal Addiction, is even more skeptical, citing "claims about escalating cannabis potency made as far back as 1975." The Australians argue that "more research is needed to determine whether increased potency and contamination translates to harm for users." For good measure, they add that the evidence "is fragmented and fraught with methodological problems," explaining that the variations in marijuana samples (potency data comes from batches of marijuana seized by law enforcement) are so wide and the sources so varied that it is simply impossible to know if reported potency accurately represents what is available to marijuana consumers.

    That said, there are some legitimate concerns about marijuana potency. A first-time user who happens upon some very high-octane marijuana could well have a more intense experience than they are prepared for. So could someone accustomed to lower-grade material who unexpectedly happens upon some high-quality sinsemilla.

    There is an easy way to avert such unpleasant surprises, a method that's long been in use for alcoholic beverages: The bottle of white wine presently sitting in my refrigerator bears a label indicating an alcohol content of 13.7 percent, while the bottle of single-malt scotch I keep on hand for special occasions, contains 43 percent alcohol -- again clearly marked. Needless to say, I'll drink the scotch more slowly and judiciously than the wine.

    Similar information could easily be given to marijuana consumers. But that, of course, would require replacing prohibition with a regulatory system similar to that now used for alcohol and tobacco. Oddly, neither Walters nor Volkow seem to have brought up that possibility.
  12. AirO
    Higher THC% means less smoke. If anything, that is better.
  13. cra$h
    higher thc also means new kids will be blown away, and have a bad time, thus less kids interested in drugs, since there's no more "light" drugs. and swim does believe that some strains are becoming more potent, since the average grower wants the strongest shit on the market, and then will mix strains for a more potent hybrid. there is some truth behind what they say, but it's so distorted, it becomes almost completely fake.
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