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LETTERS

Not all marijuana is that strong

June 30, 2008

Government claims of highly potent pot must be taken with a grain of salt ["Booster Shots: Marijuana More Potent Than Ever," June 12]. Even by the University of Mississippi's admission, the average THC [the primary psychoactive ingredient] in domestically grown marijuana -- which comprises the bulk of the U.S. market -- is less than 5%, a figure unchanged for nearly a decade.

The average strength of imported cannabis has grown in recent years. Nevertheless, non-domestic marijuana comprises only a small fraction of the domestic market, particularly here in California.

To imply that this rare, unusually potent cannabis is reflective of what is typically available on the U.S. market is highly (and purposely) misleading.

Currently, doctors may legally prescribe an FDA-approved pill that contains 100% THC, and, curiously, nobody at the University of Mississippi or at the drug czar's office seems particularly concerned about it.

Paul Armentano

Deputy director, NORML and the NORML Foundation

Washington, D.C.

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