A new advocacy group called SAM (Smarter Approach to Marijuana), co-founded by Patrick J. Kennedy, a former congressman and self-admitted alcohol and oxycodone addict,
proposes treating marijuana use in the following manner: “Possession or use of a small amount of marijuana should be a civil offense subject to a mandatory health screening and marijuana-education program.
Referrals to treatment and/or social-support services should be made if needed.
The individual could even be monitored for 6-12 months in a probation program designed to prevent further drug use.”
But is this forced treatment for marijuana warranted?
In Psychology Today’s “Is Marijuana Addictive?,” the authors compared marijuana to other substances and found that it does not pose the same risks of dependence. It is estimated that 32% of tobacco users will become addicted, 23% of heroin users, 17% of cocaine users, and 15% of alcohol users.
Yet only 9-10% of regular marijuana users will ever fit the definition of dependent . Moreover, the other substances are objectively more harmful than marijuana. So what is the incentive for this push for treatment centers for marijuana use when Mr. Kennedy knows from available evidence and personal experience that alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs are far more harmful?
Based on my own personal experience, I think I have at least part of the answer.
About a year ago, I was put through some marijuana re-education of my own when I had to attend court-ordered Deferred Entry of Judgment classes.
Every Wednesday night for 18 weeks, I met with a health department leader and other unfortunate drug war casualties. The class would start off with roll call and paying a weekly fee. We would watch a video on addiction or the teacher would read some course work to us.
Then he would give us some questions that we were required to answer. Most of them were things like, “How does your addiction affect your daily life”?
“I’m not addicted. I use cannabis as a medicine. It helps me control my migraines.”
Without cannabis, my life would again center around debilitating migraines, which honestly were driving me toward suicide.
Under the guise of “treatment,” what they were doing was working on creating statistics that would support a HUGE money grab for more services and create a story of crisis that does not really exist!
Rehab, it turns out, is a pretty good business. Is rehab roll-up-able? In the most basic sense, the answer is yes. But :
- are these treatment centers working to end addiction or
- is it all about the profit margin?
One word I hear over and over again when cannabis activists get together is “WHY?” As in, “Why on earth do we continue to punish adults who simply choose to relax with marijuana instead of the more harmful substance, alcohol?”
I think the answer is clear. Follow the money...
Source: Forced marijuana treatment: an economic boon for the addiction industry?