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Exposing ‘Potent Pot’ Myths (Part 3)

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 17, 2008

    UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! (AGAIN)

    I’ll be appearing live this afternoon on the Dr. Drew (Pinsky) Live nationally syndicated radio show to discuss this issue further. I will be appearing at 12:35pm pst (3:35pm est), just minutes after Drug Czar John Walters, who no doubt will claim that supposedly ‘potent pot’ supposedly causes brain damage, depression, addiction and every other malady known to man.

    To stream the show live, click here. To find a local radio affiliate in your area, click here.

    Several media outlets, including the influential Huffington Post, have run with my rebuttal to last week’s Associated Press story regarding the federal government’s specious claims of ridiculously potent pot.

    My personal favorite: Today’s op/ed in The Daily Mississippian, which is the daily newspaper for the University of Mississippi. For those who don’t know, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is home to NIDA’s Potency Monitoring Project, the very group responsible for this questionable ‘study.’

    Let’s hope that Dr. ElSohly and all of his PMP colleagues read the morning paper!

    UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!

    It’s just come to my attention that the following essay is making waves at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, where the Drug Czar’s minions have actually taken the time to respond to it. Now, I know that nobody actually reads the Drug Czar’s blog on their own, so here’s the link. (You can also read Russ Belville’s excellent deconstruction of the Czar’s reply here.)

    As Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Well, I guess it’s safe to say we’re at the stage where they finally fight! You know what comes next.

    ‘Potency pot’ is all hype
    via The Daily Mississippian

    by Paul Armentano

    Government claims of highly potent pot must be taken with a grain of salt (“Marijuana THC potency levels highest in 30 years,” June 16, 2008). As is the case with any black market commodity, definitive facts are difficult if not impossible to come by.

    That said, even by the University of Mississippi’s own admission, the average THC in domestically grown marijuana — which comprises the bulk of the US market — is less than five percent, a figure that’s remained unchanged for nearly a decade.

    By contrast, the average strength of imported cannabis has grown in recent years. Nevertheless, non-domestic marijuana comprises only a small fraction of the domestic market. To imply that this rare, unusually potent cannabis is reflective of what is typically available on the US market is highly (and purposely) misleading.

    Furthermore, it must be noted that THC — regardless of potency — is non-toxic and incapable of causing a fatal overdose. Currently, doctors may legally prescribe a FDA-approved pill that contains 100 percent THC, and curiously, nobody at the University of Mississippi or at the Drug Czar’s office seems particularly concerned about it.

    It should also be noted that most cannabis consumers actually prefer less potent pot, just as the majority of those who drink alcohol prefer beer or wine over hard liquor. If and when consumers encounter unusually strong varieties of marijuana, they adjust their use accordingly and smoke less.

    Of course, if lawmakers and government researchers were really concerneda bout potential risks posed by potent marijuana, they would support regulating the drug, so that its potency would be known to the consumer.

    So if today’s pot is essentially the same plant it’s always been with any marginal increase in potency akin to the difference between a cup of tea and an espresso why is the government claiming otherwise? Mainly to scare parents, particularly those millions of parents who may have, without incident, experimented with marijuana in the 1970s, when they were about the same age as their children are today. Fortunately for them, while the feds’ latest “reefer rhetoric” may sound alarming, there’s little substance behind the hype. 

    5 Responses to “Exposing ‘Potent Pot’ Myths (Part 3)”

    1. […] Armentano: As Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then […]

    2. Howard the Duck says:

      If they believe that hemp is more potent than ever before then it also begins to fit the prophesies in the Bible of the Rapture!
      And if you know anything about the silicon that compter chips are made of then Revelations 15:2
      could be about the Internet.

      American King James Version.

      “And I saw the semblance of a glassy sea, mingled with fire; and standing by this glassy sea, with harps of God, were those who came off conquerors from the beast and from his image and from the cipher of his name.”

      And about the fight to free the human mind from the propaganda of the Beast.

    3. […] Paul Armentano at NORML is really super exhausted from spending the whole weekdebunking the potent pot propaganda parade, but he summoned the energy to produce a final post […]

    4. ConservativeChristian says:

      There’s some thought that if the government could find a way to make money off of it, legalization would happen sooner rather than later. How many people would be willing to get behind a proposal for a $100 per year Small Scale Cultivation and Consumption card that would permit the holder to pay a $100 fee in order to cultivate up to 12 plants, possess up to sixteen ounces of usable product, and transfer as a gift (not sell) up to one ounce of material to another person? The $100 would be split between the Federal and the State government, i.e., both layers of government get a cut. This would:
      -Increase government revenues
      -Reduce government spending for arrest and imprisonment
      -Close the so-called gateway to other drugs, as marijuana users would not need to buy from criminal dealers
      -Destroy the profits of organized criminal drug gangs
      What do you think? How much support would there be for something along this line?

    5. Bruce Cain says:

      The Solution: The Merp Model for Re-Legalization

      Drug Policy
      ===========

      The MERP Project
      The Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy (MRP) Project

      http://www.newagecitizen.com/ReLegalization01.htm
      http://www.newagecitizen.com/editorial_on_the_marijuana_re.htm

      Bruce W. Cain Discusses the MERP Model, for Marijuana Relegalization, with “Sense and Sensimilla”
      http://senseandsensi.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=270029

      Why Lou Dobbs Should Support Marijuana Legalization
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VKf5YfQb7s&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Enewagecitizen%2Ecom%2F

      Video Biography of Bruce W. Cain
      http://www.newagecitizen.com/Videos.htm

      The “Hemp Song” by Bruce W. Cain
      http://www.newagecitizen.com/AudioFiles/HempSongGnosticRaw.mp3

      “Rainbow Farm” and instrumental dedicated to Tom Crosslin who was
      murdered at Rainbow Farm a week before 9/11 (09/11/2001)
      http://www.newagecitizen.com/AudioFiles/RainbowFarm%20050202.mp3

      How Continuing the Drug War could make Nuclear Terrorism a Reality
      by Bruce W. Cain
      http://www.newagecitizen.com/Editorials/v8n1NuclearTerrorism.htm

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