Stronger Weed Ignites Controversy

As potency grows, so does dispute over whether drug is harmful
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2008 4:11 PM CDT
Marijuana plants are seen growing under a heat lamp at the home of George and Jean Hanamoto in the Mendocino County community of Willits, Calif., Wednesday, May 28, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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(Newser) – Marijuana is getting stronger, but what exactly that means is open to interpretation. The Boston Globe looks at a dispute with clearly drawn sides but fuzzier facts. Is pot addictive and highly hazardous, or no more harmful than caffeine and perhaps medically beneficial? With minimal research to draw on, experts say, opponents and proponents of weed are cherry-picking their data.

One expert who sees a link with an increase in the number of teens admitted to ERs for pot-related conditions says the trend should "sound an alarm for parents and teens across the country." But another says, "More research is needed to determine whether increased potency . . . translates into harm for users."