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May 14th, 2009
09:53 AM ET
May 14th, 2009
09:51 AM ET

Marijuana potency surpasses 10 percent, U.S. says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption= "Mahmoud ElSohly says marijuana's potency will continue to rise before tailing off in the next five years."]

By Jeanne Meserve and Mike M. Ahlers

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) - The average potency of marijuana, which has risen steadily for three decades, has exceeded 10 percent for the first time, the U.S. government will report on Thursday.

Scientists working for the government predict that potency, as measured by the drug's concentration of the psychoactive ingredient THC, will continue to rise.

At the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project, where thousands of samples of seized marijuana are tested every year, project director Mahmoud ElSohly said some samples have THC levels exceeding 30 percent.

Average THC concentrations will continue to climb before leveling off at 15 percent or 16 percent in five to 10 years, ElSohly predicted.

The stronger marijuana is of particular concern because high concentrations of THC have the opposite effect of low concentrations, officials say.

In addition, while experienced marijuana users may limit their intake of potent marijuana, young and inexperienced users may not moderate their intake and possibly suffer from dysphoria, paranoia, irritability and other negative effects.

Keep reading this story

Filed under: Drugs • Health
May 14th, 2009
06:43 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Thursday May 14th, 2009

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • The damage being described as "unbelievable" in one Missouri town – where a killer tornado touched down last night.  See an iReporter’s view of the massive funnel cloud.
  • Sadness turning into anger and frustration, in day two of hearings into the deadly plane crash outside Buffalo, New York.  Family members want to know why their loved ones lives were in the hands of a pilot – who may not have gotten enough sleep or training.
  • The mission to fix the eye that sees through time.  The crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis takes the first of five risky spacewalks to repair the Hubble Telescope.  We'll have the pictures from space live.
  • After weeks of pressure from state and local law enforcement officials, Craigslist, the most popular classifieds site on the web, is getting rid of its controversial "erotic services" section.  Police say a medical student accused of murdering a masseuse – found her there.  Hear John Roberts’ exclusive interview with Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster.

Filed under: What's On Tap
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