Commentary: Young people should understand risks of high-potency marijuanaPosted by On

I was pleased to see a recent Press Herald editorial warn about the high potency of today’s marijuana (“Our View: We cannot be complacent about Maine youth cannabis use,” Feb. 1).

At their present rate of growth, and taking into account the black market, marijuana sales in Maine will likely exceed $1 billion in the next two years. By Maine’s own survey, 41% of citizens use marijuana, and half of that number use daily.

According to the same survey, 90% of the marijuana used in Maine is high potency, meaning it contains more than 10% tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive component of the plant. Before 2000, the average marijuana flower contained between 2% and 5% THC.

Today, Mainers can buy flower containing well over 20% THC. Distilled chemical concentrates in vapes, edibles and other forms can exceed 90% THC.

To learn more about today’s marijuana, I encourage you to watch the two new episodes of the documentary series “Voices of Hope,” airing on Maine Public on Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. In these episodes, you will meet Mainers who have been harmed by marijuana, including a Yarmouth High School senior who describes how easy access to marijuana has become a problem in our schools. It’s chilling to learn how easily an 18-year-old can acquire a “medical” marijuana card and get access to a product that, another young user quips, “is not my grandfather’s weed.”

You will learn that still-developing brains make teens and young adults…

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