The state drug czar says while the illegal drug “meth” is getting lots of headlines lately, he’s also concerned about marijuana. Marvin Van Haaften, director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, says 23 percent of all the people seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem are addicted to pot. Van Haaften says school guidance counselors tell him it’s now easier for students to get marijuana than it is to get beer or cigarettes because stores are doing a great job of “carding” to ensure minors aren’t buying. He says the purity of marijuana is skyrocketing, and that’s a concern. Van Haaften says the state crime lab regularly tests joints that contain marijuana that’s 24 percent pure. Some plants are now producing 37 percent pure marijuana. He says when he was in the Army back in 1963, marijuana was — at best — two percent pure. That means today’s pot is significantly more potent. Van Haaften says it’s to the point where officials need to reexamine marijuana laws because pot is now so much more addictive. Van Haaften made his comments this morning during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press,” which airs tonight.
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