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The headline might have seemed a bit ominous.

“A More Potent Marijuana Is Stirring Fresh Debates.” Certainly, the story didn’t disappoint: “Most marijuana now being sold throughout the United States is three to 10 times more potent than the marijuana that was sold two years ago,” the New York Times wrote.

It was 1978, Jimmy Carter was president, and weed legalization, at least for a moment, seemed possible.

By 1995, politics and culture had changed radically, and the war on drugs was inescapable. That year, Bill Clinton’s drug czar Lee Brown was making a similar—but even more explosive—claim. “Marijuana is 40 times more potent today… than 10, 15, 20 years ago.”

The following year, current Democratic presidential candidate and pot legalization foe Joe Biden argued that comparing 1990s weed to that from the 60s was like “comparing buckshot in a shotgun shell to a laser-guided missile.” By 2002, a new drug czar, John Walters, was warning, “It is not your father’s marijuana,” and claiming a 30-fold recent increase in weed strength. [Read more at Vice]

Cannabis

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