So much has changed since we were growing up. Today’s youth don’t know what a turntable is. They have always made their popcorn in the microwave. They would probably not know how to operate a typewriter. Marijuana has changed as well. This is not the pot from OUR teen years. Today’s marijuana is much more potent.
Consider this: the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project tracks the average amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in samples seized by law enforcement agencies. In 2008 the average potency was just over 10%, compared to 1983 when the average potency was just under 4%. This means that the marijuana today is 2 ½ times more potent than it was 30 years ago.
Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, says that the increased potency may “explain why we’ve seen a pretty dramatic increase in admission to emergency rooms and treatment programs for marijuana,” (NY Times 1/7/13)
Today’s marijuana is also likely to be laced with other substances. And there are synthetic forms of marijuana out there now that have intense side effects as well. Let’s face it, sometimes more power is good thing – but with marijuana, the increased power makes marijuana potentially more toxic to our teens’ developing brain.