BreakPoint: Rising THC levels show we're in a marijuana emergency

Cannabis plants growing at an indoor True North Collective facility are shown in Jackson, Mich., Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Over the past few years, Jonny Griffis has invested millions of dollars in his legal marijuana farm in northern Michigan, which produces extracts to be used in things like gummy bears and vape oils. But now that farm — like many other licensed grows in states that have legalized marijuana — faces an existential threat: high-inducing cannabis compounds derived not from the heavily regulated and taxed legal marijuana industry, but from a chemical process involving little-regulated, cheaply grown hemp. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In early March 2021, the U.S. Senate's Caucus on International Narcotics Control released a report on the increasing potency of marijuana products available on the market. At the time, America was just a year into the pandemic and related lockdowns, so marijuana policy was not front and center on everyone's mind. It should have been. In fact, the findings contained in the report can be described as shocking. A more creative, but just as accurate, title for this 58-page report would be "This Isn't Your Grandpa's Weed."

Included in the findings, the THC levels in marijuana products are soaring. THC is the psychoactive chemical that gives pot users a high and reportedly provides relief from pain and nausea. In recent years, high-potency products have become more common. In 1990, the average concentration of THC in a marijuana plant was 4%.