Not the Same Pot

Even WashPo is now recognizing that today’s pot, with its 68% THC levels, is very damaging to young people.

NYT shows that a consistent use of marijuana starting in teenage years leads to a drop in IQ and is a good predictor of an opioid addiction later in life.

(The articles are paywalled, but you can find them if you subscribe).

I hate the fashionable ragging on the Boomers but in this instance it’s justified. They don’t seem to understand that the pot they used 40 years ago is nothing like today’s pot. They weren’t harmed and they now are aggressively legalizing a substance that shares little but the name with the pot of their youth.

I’m glad that even WashPo and NYTimes are starting to pay attention to this issue. It’s tiresome to hear nothing but the antiquated platitudes about pot being less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol. This might have been true in 1962 but it no longer is.

And I’m not even talking about the societal factors that make it easier to develop addictions today as opposed to several decades ago. For now, I’m concentrating strictly on the THC levels.

9 thoughts on “Not the Same Pot”

  1. Why are pot manufacturers not producing a low THC grade of weed? Tobacco manufacturers have spent decades producing low nicotine cigarettes. Would things change if people were not sent to jail over low THC weed?


    1. What happens is that once you begin to produce on a mass scale, all of the modern agricultural practices kick in. A tomato I can grow in my backyard will never be as big and beautiful as a large agricultural concern can grow. For instance, just the use of hydroponic lighting (and it’s a single practice among many) raises the THC levels.

      In short, mass produced means more potent.


  2. Isn’t it a waste of time to feel sorry for people who obviously “have money to burn” and can’t think of anything better to do with it than feed and nurture counterproductive hedonistic urges?


    1. I feel bad for addicts. I also don’t want to live in a society where there are more and more addicts. The social cost is enormous. Addicts can’t parent effectively, so the burden falls on social services and schools. They aren’t economically productive, so welfare has to supplement the lack. They get violent (cases of pot psychosis are exploding), so law enforcement is strained.

      We all pay for other people’s addiction. And who profits? Companies that make billions off addicts and have a stake in getting them more hooked. It’s a standard capitalist trick: socializing the cost of doing business.


  3. Mass produced doesn’t have to mean more potent. We have different grades of alcohol–it isn’t all 200 proof. Before cocaine was banned we had coca leaf tea and coca cola, not just powder cocaine.

    If you want to regulate something you have to make it legal to make at least some form of it. If you ban it you lose the ability to regulate it, but you don’t stamp it out. You just put it under the control of a violent and corrupt black market.


    1. Look at what happened with the opioid crisis. It’s a disaster. And it happened in a very legal and supposedly regulated area of pharmacology. Oxycodone was legal, mass produced and supposedly regulated. And we all know the results. My faith in the capacity of government agencies to withstand the pressures of capital is non-existent.

      The legalization of opioid prescription for minor illnesses didn’t stamp out the black market. It augmented the power of drug cartels because an addict will always end up wanting something stronger eventually.


      1. It’s legal for medical use–where sometimes concentrated is exactly what you need, but not always–but not for recreational.

        Look, I have interacted with a lot of addicts. Some are in my family. I know how dangerous this stuff is. I’ve also had the displeasure of knowing a few people involved in the illicit drug trade, and they are dangerous. They’re more dangerous than an alcohol or tobacco executive (and that’s saying something). And all of the addicts that I know got better not because of the law but because they eventually made a choice to change. I want that choice to be there, and when they make that choice I want them to have access to excellent rehab care.

        Until they make that choice, I want them to have access to moderate doses made in clean manufacturing facilities and sold by people who aren’t as dangerous as the street gangs. That means legalization and heavy regulation. It will produce tragic outcomes, but not as many tragic outcomes as the drug war that fuels violence around the world.


        1. If there was any chance that legalization would decrease the power of cartels, I’d absolutely agree. But it doesn’t. We now have drug cartels working in rural Ohio and Missouri. This happened after, not before, it became so easy to get prescription opioids.


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