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smoking weed in the 70s

Why Is Cannabis Now So Different From 1970s Cannabis?

They came in kilo bricks. By boat, in trucks, and in cargo planes, pounds of dried-up flakes and pieces of cannabis plants worked their way up from Colombia to be distributed and sold in the United States. While cannabis has been a part of American culture since the country’s birth, cannabis today is certainly not what it used to be. Not only has the industry changed, but so have the plant’s potency and general appearance.

So, what exactly were those free-spirits smoking in the 1970s? Since cannabis was named a Schedule 1 drug in 1970, the Natural Center for Natural Projects Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi has been testing marijuana samples confiscated in U.S. marijuana raids. In agreement with popular belief, today’s marijuana is 57-67% more potent when compared to samples from the ’70s. In this instance, potency is measured by the levels of psychoactive cannabinoids present in individual plant samples. The reasoning behind this massive increase in potency, however, is quite complicated.

Beginning in the 1970s, the majority of cannabis consumed for recreational use was imported illegally from source countries. In the 1970s, around 72% of cannabis in circulation was brought into the U.S. rather than produced on the homefront. Of that 72%, between 50 and 60% was brought in from Colombia. Between growing time, transportation, and distribution, the cannabis found in the 1970s was on average much older due to time it took to get from farm to consumer.

An increase in general knowledge about cannabis has also had a huge effect on the quality of the usable product. Back in the ’70s, much of the cannabis brought in to the U.S. was a mixture of leaves, stems, flowers, and hodgepodge pieces of the plant. Very little of the brick-packed, mass-produced product was actually the feminized flower (sinsemilla) that we now expect when walking into a dispensary. This means that when people used cannabis, they were not using the plant parts high in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the most well-known compound in cannabis that produces psychoactive effects. Rather, members of the “Me Generation” were getting the leftovers.

It wasn’t until hydroponic systems became prevalent in the 1980s that marijuana imports slowed and we saw a jump in potency of the average sample. This new technology allowed more Americans to grow discretely right in their own backyards (or, more likely, their basements), which resulted in fresher marijuana closer to home. This new ability to produce cannabis on a local level meant the beginning of the boom in higher quality connoisseur strains.

Another big jump in potency occurred in the early 2000s. While brick marijuana was pervasive throughout the 1990s, imported brick product was out of favor by 2010. In 2000, 3.2% of sampled cannabis came from sinsemilla, yet by 2010 sinsemilla became the norm, representing a whopping 60% of seized samples. As more marijuana was being produced right in the United States, there was opportunity for research and observation. In perhaps one of the most revolutionary moments in cannabis culture, industry members distinguished the sinsemilla as the best source of cannabinoids in the plant. Now, just a few years later, the potency of marijuana continues to increase as the cannabis industry becomes more high tech than ever.

After all of these statistics, there are a few questions which need to be asked. How much more more potent can cannabis get? Each year, more and more states legalize cannabis for medicinal use. The Green Rush to legalization is a step toward turning reality into safe policy. Yet, as technology continues to advance and strains become more specialized (bred specifically for potency and targeting for medicinal effects), the potential for turning cannabis into a different plant altogether only increases. Are these increases in potency a hopeful sign for the medical marijuana industry, or do they suggest that cannabis is going down a different pharmacological route? Right now, the future of cannabis seems wide open.

Bagley, B. M. (October 01, 1988). “Colombia and the War on Drugs”. Foreign Affairs, 67, 1, 70-92.

Sevigny, E. L. (January 01, 2013). “Is today’s marijuana more potent simply because it’s fresher?”. Drug Testing and Analysis, 5, 1, 62-7.

While cannabis has been a part of American culture since the country's birth, cannabis today is not what it used to be. So what exactly were those free-spirits smoking in the 1970s?

Subject: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

I am just wondering because most people I talk to (except my mom ;D) says they smoked weed in the ’70’s. I know the ’60’s and ’70’s were a swinging time. A lot of movies from that time had drugs in them too, like:

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

Easy Rider (1969, I know not really the ’70’s but close enough!)

I’m sure there are many, many others that I’m not thinking of right now.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Well, no. ::) But smoking weed was probably at the height of its popularity in the 70’s. Drugs in general were popular from the late 60’s well into the 70’s :\'( even though by then we all knew how harmful they were.

During the 70’s there was a prolonged move to legalize marijuana because people regarded it as a ‘safe’ drug.

Of course people smoked weed before, during and after the 70’s. But once the 70’s were over, the anti-drug movement got going, making users more inclined to hide it. 😉 Of course people still used it anyway.

As for me, I didn’t use it, not even during college :o. There are others I’m sure never did, either. But a large number did.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Sure I did. ;D Nothing like getting stoned and watching SNL. 😀

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Hell yes! We used to smoke it and watch Get Smart, and other shows.
Then I started to get more “paranoid” than laid back, so to keep from peer pressure, I would say, “no thanks, I’m allergic to THC” So then I was still “cool”

Remember those baggies of rag weed compared to what they have now?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

the 70s were cool.

every watched that 70s show?

almost every episode it shows them in a circle high.

ever seen dazed in confused?

it shows them smoking weed every 5 minutes it seems like.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Oh yes, I was well acquainted with weed in the 70s.

Dandelion & Burdock, that is. a type of soda!

(However, if we’re talking 80s. )

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


Oh yes, I was well acquainted with weed in the 70s.

Dandelion & Burdock, that is. a type of soda!

(However, if we’re talking 80s. )

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


No, because I would’ve only been 13 when the 70’s ended! 😀

just because youre 13 doesnt mean you didnt know what weed was..

i first tried it when i was 12 with a couple friends.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

just because youre 13 doesnt mean you didnt know what weed was..

i first tried it when i was 12 with a couple friends.

i hated it though.scared the crap out of me.

i thought i was going to get caught by my parents for like a year.

i waited until i was 14 to do it every again. thats when the real fun started happening.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

just because youre 13 doesnt mean you didnt know what weed was..

i first tried it when i was 12 with a couple friends.

I think I was 13 when I first tried it, myself.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


Oh yes, I was well acquainted with weed in the 70s.

Dandelion & Burdock, that is. a type of soda!

(However, if we’re talking 80s. )

mmmm Dandelion and Burdock ;D

Err I dunno how to smoke :-[ so I ate some marajuana once – once was enough to make me realise it aint for me. 😀

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


mmmm Dandelion and Burdock ;D

Err I dunno how to smoke :-[ so I ate some marajuana once – once was enough to make me realise it aint for me.  😀

just noticed title of this is ‘in the 70’s – er I was far too young to do drugs then, my marajuana scooby snack happened in the mid 80’s  ;D

never again though – I couldn’t shut up for days, and recall seeing a spider in the bath the size of a dustbin lid.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


mmmm Dandelion and Burdock ;D

Err I dunno how to smoke :-[ so I ate some marajuana once – once was enough to make me realise it aint for me.  😀

I also don’t know how to smoke. And I’ve never eaten the stuff either.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


just noticed title of this is ‘in the 70’s – er I was far too young to do drugs then, my marajuana scooby snack happened in the mid 80’s  ;D

never again though – I couldn’t shut up for days, and recall seeing a spider in the bath the size of a dustbin lid.

sounds like you had a real nasty body stone 😮

never somked it in the 70s (was only born in 70). now in the 80s. 😉

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

I didn’t smoke weed. (I hate traditional smoking of tobacco, so I didn’t care to smoke anything, even weed — I always believed in a saying from Edith Bunker on “All In The Family”: “If God had intended us to smoke, he would have put chimneys on top of our head.” ;D) And besides two of my sisters do smoke tobacco, and I can’t stand it when they smoke (I have three older sisters and only one of them does not). (I also have asthma).

But that being written, I was over at one of my other sister’s (the one who doesn’t smoke) friends house in the early 1970’s (when I was only 8 years old — I was born in 1963) and this friend made Mary Jane (the nickname for marijuana) brownies (they were quite delicious and very moist! :D) Of course at 8 years old, it kept me and the young friend I was with quite docile and eventually made us go to bed to stay out of the way of my sister and her friend. 😮

Also btw, the year before that at the age of 7 years old I snuck into the “The Last Picture Show” just to get to see actress, Cybil Shepherd and get my first hard-on. 😉

BTW, I also believe in legalizing marijuana for medical benefits. A matter of fact I could use some Mary Jane brownies right now (would lesson the pain I feel whenever I think of George W. Bush).

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


;D OOOHHH ..Love It!! Another fellow Democrat. Yea..Id start smoking again if I thought it would Kill my pain from DOUBYA. LOL.

Yeah, if only? ;D Hand me another Mary Jane brownie, please. 😉

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Is this a trick question?
H-LL YES!

Why do you think over half of us start our topics, “Does anyone remember?” Our brains have been fried, lol!

Great question. I don’t want to be a hippocrit, but over the years, drugs and alcohol didn’t help my thinking process at all, I wish I never did them!

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

That is a funny (though possibly true) observation, Kat! Thanks for the laugh.

I was 16 in 1970 and yes, I did smoke weed. (Called it “pot”, though) But not often. I didn’t have the nerve to go buy my own. But if it was around, I really liked it. It was a fairly rare treat.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Another funny story.

My moms friend caught a kid smoking pot in her house. She said, “I’m going to tell your parents”
He said, “Go ahead, they smoke it too!”

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


mmmm Dandelion and Burdock ;D

Err I dunno how to smoke :-[ so I ate some marajuana once – once was enough to make me realise it aint for me.  😀

I used to love smoking weed & back when i was still smokin it if i saw someone eating it i would have thought it were sacrilige & a total waste of weed. It’s 8 times more potent when smoked especially through a bong. I would even get sh!tty when someone wanted roll a joint out of some of the weed & i’d usually be like “nah man that’s such a waste, all that smoke that’s drifting off into the room is not going into our lungs”. I tried to eat it once or twice & it did nothing, i was still totally straight & it felt like a total waste. After that i gave up on the idea of ever trying to eat it again & stuck to smoking it through a bong.
I don’t smoke weed anymore because it’s not as harmless as it seems & i became extremly dependant on it for about 11 years & practically couldn’t live without it. I would go psycho when i couldn’t get it aswell. Getting off it was the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do in my life. When i told people i’d finally quit they didn’t believe me & one of them said “you not smoking bongs is like the pope not going to church”. I would smoke day & night & as soon as i woke up in the morning i would have a breakfast bong. I lost 11 years of my life just being stoned. A lot of people say i’m pretty inteligent & articulate & if i hadn’t spent all those years being stonned out i could have & should have gone to university & gone on to do greater things. The media glamourises it & makes it seem harmless but it’s a lot more incidious than it seems. Although this wasn’t in the 70s i thought some of you might find my experience with the drug interesting & it might serve as a good expample of why it shouldn’t be classed as a light drug or harmless drug. I’ve been drug free for many years now.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?


Well, no.  ::) But smoking weed was probably at the height of its popularity in the 70’s. Drugs in general were popular from the late 60’s well into the 70’s :\'( even though by then we all knew how harmful they were.

During the 70’s there was a prolonged move to legalize marijuana because people regarded it as a ‘safe’ drug.

Of course people smoked weed before, during and after the 70’s. But once the 70’s were over, the anti-drug movement got going, making users more inclined to hide it.  ;) Of course people still used it anyway.ÂÂ

As for me, I didn’t use it, not even during college  :o. There are others I’m sure never did, either. But a large number did.

I didn’t use it myself,but my aunt said she smoked it a total of 14 times–a LONG time ago(she ‘s in her 60s now,and she did it when she was young)I don’t think any drug,including prescription or over the counter,should be used for recreational reasons,and weed has become better known as a recreational drug since it became illegal in the 30s.I do believe the opinions of doctors who say ithelps MS and glaucoma,however.

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

Subject: Re: Did everyone smoke weed in the 1970’s?

I am just wondering because most people I talk to (except my mom ;D) says they smoked weed in the ’70’s. I know the ’60’s and ’70’s were a swinging time. A lot of movies from that time had drugs ]]>