Well, that's not exactly how they phrased it. But that's what happened. After years of claiming that marijuana is 25-30 times stronger than it used to be, ONDCP admitted that marijuana potency has merely doubled:
(Washington, D.C.)—Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released the latest analysis from the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project which revealed that levels of THC—the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—have reached the highest-ever levels since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970's. According to the latest data on marijuana samples analyzed to date, the average amount of THC in seized samples has reached 8.5 percent. This compares to an average of just under 4 percent reported in 1983 and represents more than a doubling in the potency of the drug since that time.
Compare that to John Walters' statement in The San Francisco Chronicle on September 1, 2002:
The THC of today's sinsemilla averages 14 percent and ranges as high as 30 percent.
Even stronger stuff is on the way. The point is that the potency of available marijuana has not merely "doubled," but increased as much as 30 times.
Maybe he thought we wouldn't remember. It's curious that ONDCP and NIDA are so proud to announce that they've been wildly exaggerating marijuana potency for many years. Apparently, they see value in finally legitimizing their claims that pot is getting stronger, even if doing so raises the question of what the hell they've been talking about all this time.
Yet a doubling of marijuana potency hardly compliments the ONDCP's ongoing effort to eradicate the stuff from the planet. Nor does it bear any relationship to the intoxication levels experienced by users, who titrate their doses to achieve the desired effect regardless of potency.
Besides, now that researchers at Harvard have informed us that THC shrinks tumors and likely prevents lung cancer, more of it can only be a good thing.