POT REGULATION-I’ve worked in marijuana policy reform for nearly 30 years. Throughout my career, opponents of legalization have alleged that “today’s” pot is far more potent — and therefore more dangerous — than the cannabis of prior generations.
His successor Lee Brown claimed in 1995 that “marijuana is 40 times more potent today” than it was decades ago. Not to be outdone, then-Senator Joe Biden opined in 1996: “It’s like comparing buckshot in a shotgun shell to a laser-guided missile.”
Taking their hyperbole at face value, the message is clear: Modern marijuana is exponentially stronger and more harmful than the weak, nearly impotent weed of yesteryear.
But that’s not what the drug warriors of yesteryear warned.
During the 1930s, Henry Anslinger, Commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics, testified to Congress that cannabis is ”entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured.”
Decades later, in the 1960s and ‘70s, public officials argued that the pot of their era was even stronger. They claimed that smoking “Woodstock weed” would permanently damage brain cells — and that, therefore, possession needed to be heavily criminalized to protect public health.
Published: March 12, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News