London, United Kingdom: The average potency of THC in seized samples of British cannabis fell 25 percent between 2004 and 2007 - following Parliament's decision to downgrade the drug's possession to a non-arrestable offense, according to data collected by the UK's Forensic Science Service and published by The Guardian newspaper.
Marijuana's THC content fell from 12.7 percent in 2004 to 9.5 percent in 2007 the newspaper reported.
In May, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced plans to upgrade cannabis possession to an arrestable offense punishable by up to five years in jail, claiming that the drug's potency had increased "nearly threefold." Just prior to Smith's announcement, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed, "[T]he cannabis on the streets is now of a lethal quality."
A spokesperson for the Forensic Science Service claimed to The Guardian that the agency did not analyze enough samples to accurately gauge the average potency of British cannabis.
In June, a University of Mississippi report alleged that US potency had grown to record levels. However, a close analysis of the report revealed that the average THC in domestically grown marijuana - which comprises the bulk of the US market - is less than five percent, a figure that's remained unchanged for nearly a decade.