Marijuana “Addiction”

I’d like to take a few moments and address the topic of marijuana “addiction.” A story recently appeared in the news about the rapper Bizzy Bone going on the show “Celebrity Rehab” with Dr. Drew to fight his alcohol and marijuana addictions.

First of all, if you want to quit smoking weed, that’s your choice. People do it everyday. Weed effects everyone differently, and some people who smoke just don’t want to do it anymore.

My problem lies with rehab. The news media likes to spin the fact that so many people go to rehab to quit the evil marijuana. I’ll admit some studies have been done that say long-term marijuana use can lead to “addiction.” If you’ve ever been high before, it might be something you want to try again…and again. This can be construed as addiction.

But recent studies have examined what drives the “boom” in marijuana “addicts” going to rehab. The fact is that most are sent to rehab by the court system. Given a choice between rehab or jail, most people will choose rehab. I would guess that Mr. Bone is going on the VH1 reality show to boost his career; I say good for him, we all need to get paid.

But people like Dr. Drew are getting paid as well – a ton of money – to treat marijuana addicts. Many of us have heard stories about owners of rehab clinics trolling the internet, stalking potheads, trying to get them to come to rehab.

I recently had someone email me about advertising on my website, The Pothead Pundit. He wanted to pay me to insert a little blurb on my site, some innocent sounding thing that linked to his rehab website. I wasn’t allowed to even mention anywhere on the site that the link went to a rehab. If rehab is so good for people, why is there a need for all that? (Needless to say, I told him to fuck off and haven’t received a penny of money from him.)

There are people with addictive personalities, and any substance on earth can become addictive. Some like to rail against pot smokers while tobacco – one of the most addicting drugs in the world – is legal and can be found at any retailer: grocery store, liquor store, corner store, and of course the ubiquitous smoke shop.

True, cigarette smokers are getting hosed too – between the rising taxes and the outrageous price of a few sticks of nicotine gum – past and present tobacco smokers will feel it in their wallets for the foreseeable future.

But many save their worst venom for the terrible marijuana smoker. We need to get them all into rehab, suck their bank accounts and insurance dry, and boot them back into the world as better people. Since marijuana is so available, it is an easy target for a lot of people. All these potheads must be addicted.

The only hold weed has over me is the fact that it’s so damn good. Maybe that’s the essence of addiction. Something that gives you so much that there is no reason to give it up.

14 Responses to “Marijuana “Addiction””
  1. Danielle says:

    Interesting that they don’t send cigarette smokers to rehab. And isn’t addiction to pot, if someone has one, psychological? I just quit cigarettes. When I didn’t have them, I was craving them intensely. I am right now, actually, but my online support system prevents me from going out and buying more, thankfully. I’ve also been dry in terms of pot for quite a bit. Does it suck horribly? Hell yes! But do I find myself preoccupied with a nagging craving at any moment of the day or night? Never.

    I don’t exactly trust Dr. Drew either. Sometimes I see him genuinely helping, but at other moments…I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

  2. Rhayader27510 says:

    Good piece. Statistics on treatment for marijuana addiction say absolutely nothing about the addictiveness of the substance. It’s simply another area in which our insane War on Drugs has warped reality beyond recognition.

    And I have to say, Dr. Drew is as despicable as they come. A person who recommends turning a drug user into the police as a way to help that user has no business giving anybody advice on anything. I’d like to see him explain the medical utility of imprisonment (among a highly dangerous, highly diseased population) and the subsequent impossible task of obtaining legitimate employment with health coverage. How exactly does ruining a person’s life square up with the Hippocratic Oath?

    In the end, of course, whether or not cannabis can be described as “addictive” is really meaningless. It says nothing about the effectiveness or justification for the war on the substance.

  3. My mom says she is addicted to food. I am not sure if she is serious or not! I know a couple of people who go to overeater’s anonymous. Obviously there is nothing intrinsic in the food that makes it addictive( except for when they add things like MSG, but that is a whole other rant….), so what I am saying is it is a mental obssesion these people have to deal with. Seen from that point of view I could say Cannabis can be “addicting”, but there is nothing in the plant that sets up a craving. If you use this medicine for pain and suddenly stop, you will not feel too good for a day or so.(this is for all coffee drinkers out there) How do you feel if you stopped drinking coffee for a few days? I know I had a headache and my stomach was off. I have been forced to go without my medicine for a few days and I was in pain and irritated easily. You can call that withdrawl if you want, but I know personally that there is no intense craving like an alcoholic goes through when they are DTing. Since Cannabis is completely non-toxic, the body does not need to be “detoxed”.

    Piss test companies,gaurds,police.lawyers,judges,big pharma and the alcohol and tabbacco industries all want to keep this plant banned so they have a job for life. This must change.

    • Danielle says:

      I don’t know your mom, but her problem sounds like Binge Eating Disorder. Like Anorexia and Bulimia, it’s a psychological issue.

  4. Great article. I know one person who was facing federal charges and went into an addiction treatment program for marijuana only because time got chopped off their sentence. What exactly do they teach you in rehab? Not to smoke as often? For marijuana to be ruining your life means you needed psychological help in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with getting help as long as you’ve correctly identified the problem.

  5. I want to add that I’m addicted to Jack in the Box. What’s rehab going to teach me? Not to eat there as often? Already figured that solution out on my own.

  6. Danny Mendez says:

    Dr. Drew is an idiot. He actually believes that planting drugs on people and getting them arrested is beneficial to those people:

    I wonder if Dr. Drew would appreciate it if I secretly packed his car full of drugs and then called the police. Someone should really do that. I’m won’t do it, but I’m sure there’s someone out there with the balls to do it. I hope it happens, so he feels the taste of karma in the back of his throat as he vomits in his jail cell after being brutally raped in the jail showers.

    What a fucking idiot. He has no place telling people what to do with their lives.

  7. HydroMan says:

    I remember 15 or so years ago that Dr Drew was on that MTV show “Love Line” . . . he used to be rather reserved and quiet – now hes is just a publicity whore.

    The term addiction implies a physical link between the addict and the drug – and consequently withdrawal symptoms when stopped. Other than getting a serious Jones for a bong hit, has ANYONE you have ever known gone through marijuana withdrawal?

  8. Dave says:

    I’m glad there are smart comments in this comment section. A lot of times what I see with cannabis users on the net is that they buy into this whole marijuana is addictive bullshit and are like brainwashed by it. I’ve seen people proclaim that it IS addictive and that Dr. Drew MUST know what he’s talking about because he’s a doctor!! Yeah cannabis is an ‘addiction’ the way stuff like food, sex, and gambling can supposedly be addictions it’s not a serious drug addiction at all.

  9. Do you think marijuana should be legalized?

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