United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is worried about weed. In a new interview with The Hill, the country’s leading public health spokesman bemoaned the increasing strength of cannabis products as a problem and an impetus for addiction.
"The marijuana of even 10 years ago was less than 5 percent THC, which is the product that causes you to get high, which can cause addiction, which can cause problems," Dr. Adams told Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti. "The new strains that are professionally grown are 10, 15, 20 percent THC, and then when you vape them or dab them through these new devices, folks are getting 50, 60, 70 percent THC delivered."
While cannabis products have certainly grown more sophisticated — and potent — over the past few decades, Dr. Adams’ timeline is a little bit off, with plenty of marijuana sold in 2009 testing significantly higher than 5% THC. But even if the Surgeon General were to compare today’s 20% THC cannabis to the ditch weed of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the public health expert offered no evidence to support his claims of increased problematic use or addiction.
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Even without clinical, or even anecdotal support, to the dangerous imagery he conjured, Dr. Adams continued by comparing vape pens, dabs, and even high THC flower to chugging hard liquor.
"I like to have a glass of wine every once in a while," he added. "But that doesn't mean I endorse a pint of grain alcohol.”
Again, Dr. Adams’ bad faith comparison failed to actually understand how modern cannabis products are used. There is no denying that legalization and cultural progression has resulted in stronger cannabis across the board, but to use those technical — and often medicinally beneficial — advancements as a springboard to revisit Reefer Madness fear mongering is both unconvincing and dishonest.
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