Will the madness ever end? The latest in the battle between the Just Say No!ers and Legalize Pot heads has opponents of marijuana use blazing: The potency of pot is peaking, they say, and this can lead to increased toxicity and mental impairment.
According to the latest analysis from the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project (crazy where our money goes, isn’t it?), marijuana potency has increased over the last year to the highest level in more than 30 years. Maui Wowee!!! Researchers have found that the average amount of THC (the stuff that gets you high) reached 9.6 percent in 2007. Compare this to 1983 when it averaged just under 4 percent. 1983 was a bad year.
So I have to ask: is this supposed to be a bad thing? According to opponents, it is. John Walters, director of the of National Drug Control Policy, says, “Marijuana potency has grown steeply over the past decade, with serious implications in particular for young people.” 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. Holy scheisse! Cocaine and heroin?
But leave it up to the Legalize Pot advocacy to fight b.s. with b.s. According to Dr. Mitch Earleywine, psychology professor at in Albany, and trusted adviser for marijuana advocacy groups, marijuana users generally adjust to the level of potency and smoke it accordingly. He says in his most convincing b.s. bravado, “Stronger cannabis leads to less inhaled smoke.” Anybody else enjoying this as much as I am?
But the White House isn’t buying it. They point to the latest unsubstantiated claims that marijuana use can increase one’s risk for suffering depression and suicidal tendencies. Add to that the risk of developing other mental disorders, they say, and our nation is likely on the brink of moral collapse. Opponents gravest concerns are that higher THC contents are likely to increase addiction by triggering changes in the brain. Forget the scientific data to support these claims, they are inconveniently nonexistent.
Well, if I’ve said it once I’ll say it a thousand times: It’s gonna be a bloody battle between these two bovine scat slingers; and who’ll come out on top is anybodies guess. But I still think it’s pretty hard to defend the criminalization of marijuana use when a far more malignant mind-altering substance is legal and pretty much found everywhere. Add to that ethyl alcohol’s limited use medicinally and you’ve got to expect some resentment from the Rastafarian Resistance.
Whichever way you stand on this issue, I think we can all agree: If we are to judge marijuana in it’s proper context, then we probably need some cold hard facts, and not the baloney the anti-marijuana camp has been feeding us on rye bread.