"Super Pot" Silly Season

Jun 16, 2009

drug warriors, legislation, potency, science

In what may be some sort of modern record for fact-free grandstanding on drug issues, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican from the suburbs north of Chicago, has introduced a bill to ratchet up penalties for so-called "super pot". Under Kirk's proposal, penalties would be massively increased for those producing or selling marijuana with THC levels 15% or higher -- to the point where a single plant could land someone in jail for 25 years.

Small problem: THC is, for all practical purposes, nontoxic. Higher-THC marijuana is not more dangerous. People simply smoke less, just like they drink less vodka than they do beer. That's not just my opinion. Scientists who have examined the issue have concluded that the evidence simply isn't there to sound alarm bells over so-called "super pot." See, for example, this detailed review from the journal Addiction.

Congressman Kirk, it feels safe to say, has no intention of letting mere facts get in his way.