Is marijuana today more potent / dangerous than in the past?

In a Washington Post article (subscription) arguing for increased policing of the use of marijuana, an important part of the author’s argument is that “the drug available today is far more potent than what [parents of today’s users] might have smoked in the 1970s.”

Without going into GD territory about the author’s arguments (I don’t agree, FWIW), can anyone tell me about the factual veracity of this statement? Cites would be appreciated.

I can only give you my own observation based on the rare occasions that I’ve sampled any in the past ten years, and that is there is no difference. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s so I have a pretty good baseline, but who knows, maybe I’m not getting the good stuff these days.

I remember hearing the same thing in the 80s–that the mairjuana then had a much higher THC content on average than the pot from the 60s.

I would be surprised if it were not more potent. Breeders around the world have been trying to improve potency and so on for over thirty years. There is a prize given each year in The Netherlands for the best strain.

I cannot say how much these improved varieties have gotten down to the local junior high school, but I presume at least some have.

More “dangerous”? Not likely. For marijuana to be more dangerous it would need to get weaker…not stronger. The most dangerous part of marijuana is inhaling the smoke. If it is weaker a person will smoke more in order to obtain whatever level of intoxication they are seeking. Smoking more = worse for you.

Here a pretty good FAQ I found talking about this. Perhaps not authoritative so take it FWIW.

While what Paul in Saudi says is true, the attempt to develop better, stronger, faster pot does not mean that plain old street weed isn’t still out there. There’s still plenty of ordinary pot.

Or, uh, so I’ve heard.

Here’s another article that seems worth reading. Again the site itself is obviosusly a fan of cannabis but the article looks well written including citing information. Too much to quote here so visit the link below: