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The pot your kids are smoking is NOT the pot of your high school days

As Bill Clinton and President Obama shared, I smoked pot in high school and college and “experimented” with other drugs, too.  You very likely did, as well.  The weed we have smoked was elementary, in comparison to today’s professionally grown marijuana.

The New York Times “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” covered a June New England Journal of Medicine study that shows 2013 marijuana potency (based on mean THC content) has increased over 18 years from 3.75% to 13% – a 370% increase – with some Colorado marijuana stores selling strains that contain 21% THC! This 350% increase has many short-term dangerous consequences, with emergency room admissions for paranoia and psychosis exploding.

And, the increase in THC per puff increases the risk of dependence and addiction.

“ ‘You don’t have to work so hard to get high,’ said Alan J. Budney, a researcher and professor at Dartmouth’s medical school. ‘As you make it easier to get high, it makes a person more vulnerable to addiction.’ Among adults, the rate is one of 11; for teenagers, one of six.”

The debate about marijuana causing an “amotivational syndrome” in regular users had been debunked, but according to this article, dangerous long-term effects on IQ itself are now being highlighted. “A study published by the National Academy of Sciences showed that “teenagers who were found to be dependent on pot before age 18 and who continued using it into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38.”

This is not the same “experiment” some of us took part in in the 80’s.


Patrick Logan, MS is a former wilderness therapy program manager and IT consults with programs and websites.