Monday, July 20, 2009

If Marijuana is legal, Will Addiction Rise?

There is a nice discussion in the NY Times today on this topic.
The article includes several opinions. One of the nice things is that the article doesn't contain the usual comments by:
1 - A usually less well informed parent concerned about the drug menace to their children
2- A representative from a government agency whose budget is dependent on the war on drugs
... or
3- Someone with a religious argument against the use of drugs

Don't get me wrong. Like anything else that has psychotropic effects there are downsides to taking a drug like marijuana. Furthermore, there will likely be an initial rise in use, although my guess is a longer term return to current use levels or lower. Also, I am sure there are people who will get "addicted" to marijuana. I think the issue here is that we all have an addictive personality to a greater or lesser extent and those who would get addicted to marijuana would find something else otherwise. Most people in the article would agree, this is a drug that is much safer than our current legalized alternatives of tobacco and alcohol, and likely safer than many of the widely prescribed drugs such as ambien and prozac. As Norm Stamper (former Seattle police chief) points out, one of the problems with marijuana, is not it's current higher strength, but no standards such that the consumer knows what strength of drug they are smoking.

Peter Reuter (professor of public policy and criminology) states there were 750,000 arrests last year for marijuana possession. This is a ridiculous waste of time, money, instills a disrespect for the law. Clearly, the current system doesn't work and the laws need to be changed.
I could go on, but you can fill in the blanks yourself.
BTW, for the record, I don't smoke marijuana and am not planning on doing so.



susane said...

J’adore vraiment ce que vous faites, bravo !!! Merci bien de partager avec nous cet article.

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