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.

Joseph Klare is better known as The Pothead Pundit. He is a regular contributor to High Times and hailmaryjane.com and runs the popular website The Pothead Pundit. With his addition to the roster of Cannabis Culture bloggers, he is now one of the most widely read marijuana activist writers in the world.

Comments

25 Comments

  1. urnrg on

    Smoking cannabis is like drinking water. A typical person needs to drink 8 glasses of water a day but do they? NOOOoooooo. So drink up!

  2. Tyler on

    The only way you can be addicted to weed is if your a weak person or a fiend/addictive personality then you get physically addicted to it which makes you get mentally addicted in some cases too. Drugs kill alot of people these days but you got fiends just over doing it all the time and they don’t how use drugs within reason and over do it.I Stopped smoking weed for a month for a job that drug tested,but i did it all for nothing and it wasn’t that bad at all, iam just never doing that again lol

  3. Anonymous on

    I smoke every day. Used to all day, but have managed to reduce to nightly use, mostly for an end of day head change and sleep aid. I have noticed that when I do not smoke for a few days, I do in fact feel some effects that could be considered withdrawl; low-level shakes in the middle of the night, and a little more emotional over the course of the week. It abates as I clean out. I figure that anything I do with any regularity (coffee, sugar, cigarettes) will create a detox effect. That is the only type of withdrawl I have ever felt. I get over it, and can go without it. I just don’t want to. For me, life without it feels a little like everything is coated with a fine layer of crushed glass. Pretty, but rough it you slide against it too hard!

  4. Anonymous on

    I smoke every day. Used to all day, but have managed to reduce to nightly use, mostly for an end of day head change and sleep aid. I have noticed that when I do not smoke for a few days, I do in fact feel some effects that could be considered withdrawl; low-level shakes in the middle of the night, and a little more emotional over the course of the week. It abates as I clean out. I figure that anything I do with any regularity (coffee, sugar, cigarettes) will create a detox effect. That is the only type of withdrawl I have ever felt. I get over it, and can go without it. I just don’t want to. For me, life without it feels a little like everything is coated with a fine layer of crushed glass. Pretty, but rough it you slide against it too hard!

  5. Anonymous on

    If someone smokes weed for a long time and then stops; starts becoming irritable or becomes a nervous wreck, it’s probably because they had a pre existing mood disorder, not because they’re suffering from withdrawals. As soon as people start talking about addiction they forget that weed is a medicine that treats a wide range of ailments, including mood disorders. Marijuana was what was working for them. If they stop smoking then they basically stop taking their meds. The thing is, if you’re taking pills, there’s a very good chance you’re going to become dependent, especially to benzo’s. Have you ever noticed that the majority of people who quit smokin weed and have “withdrawals” are all characterized by the same symptoms. Obviously weed was a very good mood elevator for them.

  6. The BallyHoo on

    ”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”.

    NICE WORDS BRO.!!!!!!!
    Maybe, indeed! For most it is a choice, for some it is a problem. All the young girls/boys who die needlessly in car wrecks due to alcohol, have been fed the myth that alcohol is somehow more acceptable, even when you kill your best friends! Not much of a choice for them alas…..

    You are absolutely correct, the majority of people in rehab for weed, have been put there by American courts. Then, they can say,”look @ all the peeps. in rehab for the scary weed!” Uh huh…

    Politics.

  7. PISSED-OFF AMERICAN on

    If you think that Marc is not able to get a joint in jail, you ARE as stupid as you sound. Its easy to get a joint in prison, kid, only a punk bitch would comment on something they know absolutly nothing about. Why dont you go to prison for 5 years here in America and see if you get much sleep. Prison has killed more people than pot ever will.

    I have smoked POUNDS of pot throuout my life, I havent smoked one joint in over a year…HMMM… Im not beating my wife… Im not killing anyone…..WOW! I sure do miss it, like I would miss a good friend that went on vacation for a month. Classic pot withdrawal syndrome? You must still be in middle school,still beleiving everything your told. You go ahead and keep your head in the ground humming your hanson tunes.

    You talk about being self absored to the point of mental illness, must be from experience.

  8. Buzzby on

    All of your talk about persecution sounds like the ramblings of a typical paranoid schizophrenic. Maybe you are nuts!

  9. thecommonprostitute on

    If one can hold down a job, pay their bills, and otherwise be a “responsible” human being then how is pot smoking harmful?

    Does just the mere significance of someone smoking pot suddenly make them a drug addict now?

    I smoke pot daily. That said I do pay my bills, keep out of trouble and work on a regular basis. For the most part I am considered to be a responsible human being.

  10. Cats Cats Cats on

    Being put in jail ,any jail, doesn’t just cut you off your drug of choice. it deprives you of your family , community , freedom , convenience and comfort. you are property of the state they own you , whether you’re a teetotaler or a multi-drug chugger you loose a little sleep in jail.

  11. Anonymous on

    Cannabis ‘addiction’ is like an addiction to smelling a perfume: it’s strictly behavioural ‘dependency’, as opposed to the true chemical dependency we see with caffeine, for example.

  12. Dan-o on

    I frequently (2-3 times per year) give myself a drying out spell from cannabis of a few weeks up to a couple of months. This has been an ongoing practice of mine for years. Sometimes I just feel better without cannabis, and sometimes I just feel better with heavy daily smoking. The transition from one state to another is usually marked by frequent urges to smoke. That’s it. Nothibng else. Now…I tried to quit coffee which I use 2-3 cups daily for years. Less than 2 weeks after I stopped drinking my morning caffeine I damn near assaulted a guy at work over a parking spot and found myself easily irritated over just about everything.

    i have no idea who Bizzy Bone is was or might be, and I think that may play into his decision to go to “rehab” for marijuana.Any press is good press so long as your name is in the news.

    Does anyone remember when doctors wanted to make video game addiction declared a treatable illness & have it covered under insurance plans? It’s mental addiction…weak minded idiots who become dependant on things they enjoy…that’s all. Maybe a nasal inhaler, maybe a video game, maybe aspirin, and maybe…maybe cannabis.

  13. Anonymous on

    Marc Emery never quit pot- in jail his access to drugs was cut off.
    He made no choice to stop drugs, that decision was made for him.

    When he is free to use or not he uses drugs- in an intemperate fashion as we can all see on YouTube. We have all seen the prince of Pot swollen and pale baggy eyed and incoherent. In spite of his slick streams of verbage he talked a considerable amount of crap. So we shall see how Marc Emerys pot habit works out- he is having trouble sleeping which is a classic pot withdrawal symptom.That and being self absorbed to the point of mental illness. Marijuana never killed anyone- & going to jail ever killed anyone either

  14. Anonymous on

    i once stumbled onto a scientific paper that came from canada, it showed various factors or tests that would prove the level of addiction. it had crosses or ticks in boxes where that factor was involved with certain drugs.
    so there was a list of drugs in one column with the other columns being a withdrawal sign.
    cannabis was shown to have less addictive properties or factors than alcohol, tobacco, and all the other illegal drugs, including caffeine..
    withdrawal period was minimal and the signs of withdrawal were mild. i wish i had the link to prove it.
    in some countries and areas, pot is mixed with tobacco and this would explain why there are worse withdrawl symptoms in those cases.

  15. Anonymous on

    As a resident of Vancouver I am blessed with access to some of the worlds best cannabis. During the winter months I live in a country that is to say politely “less ganja friendly” and I therefore do not indulge. From my own personal experience (each year) I don’t notice any withdrawal and it is laughable to hear critics or ignorant non-users even mention the word detoxification.

    Once this joke of a war on a noun is over people will see that just like the Catholic Church once banned Garlic Cannabis is no threat to the safety, security and health of the nation.

    Would you rather Cannabis be available at a store or a school?

  16. ray christl THC Ministry Cambodia on

    SLAVE SYSTEM LIES!!!

  17. Anonymous on

    Don’t hate on cashiers, they have to deal with a lot of morons.

  18. UncleBob100 on

    I think Marc has already reported on that. Marc of course last year spent something like 59 or 60 days in a remand type center before being released on bail. I imagine he would have the same info to offer that Tommy Chong did.. Chong had to go without before prison, during, and after for a probationary period. Several years altogether. Chong said it wasn’t physically addicting, and that he did miss it, but that it wasn’t a big deal after awhile.

  19. Anonymous on

    I’ve seen it plenty before. Weed will take a total asshole and mellow him down to a reasonable person. I too, will find my self short tempered if I’ve been without for a week or two. But I think that’s part of why so many of us use the stuff in the first place…because it mellows us out, takes the moments that make up a dull day(as pink floyd’d say). For me, it gives me gobs more patience for all the little irritating things in life, from traffic to dunce cashiers.

    If your cousins were assholes, I wouldn’t call that addiction. I’d call that sobriety.

  20. persecutedinalberni on

    Good post As I have explained here I have been persecuted and it was done in a way that leaves the people in my life thinking I have mental problems.

    I can tell you that when RCMP harassed and stalked me everyday I came home from work in my truck or was alone in my truck untill it caused me a nervous breakdown.

    Which was all part of the plan to get me into the office of a corrupt doctor so they could right me off as insane.

    The thing that was comical was how the doctor tried to convince me that the cops were not harassing me it must be all the pot I was smoking that made me think this way lol.

    I do not hear bells or whistles,I do not hear voices or see things,I SAID the cops are harassing me and they wrongfully suspected me of a crime I did not committ.

    Again folks it is called “character assasination” and this is a common proceedure done to whistleblowers.

    The doctor was behind all of it and he was completly aware that yes Clifford Robert Olson was indeed writing letters to my sick psychopathic child killing child molesting foster brother and the police were aware of it too.

    You can allways ask global news about it, I mean I saw how they uncovered the truth from corrections Canada that Clifford was righting letters to a guy namedTim Kelly on Vancouver Island.

    WOW I thought when I saw that after all I made accusations against the police saying that my foster brother was involved in this character assasination.

    After all I used to have a foster brother named Timn kelly and he is a convicted child molester and love child killers like Clifford.

    Anyway yes you are right about the bullshit rehab,it is true the only people who go to pot rehab are ones that were forced into it.

    Like when a child molester gets caught molesting kids or a drunk slams his car into something while driving under the influence and suddenly they “HAVE ADDICTION PROBLEMS”.

    Judges know that there is no hope for molesters and weed is not what makes them molesters but instead they use them to employ themselves and these doctorsand rehab people that know weed rehab is a fuckin joke.

    I played along and pretended and quit for 101 days knowing full well I was still going to be accusing the government and police of harassment and persecution.

    Fuckin dirty bastards put me in with these molesters and criminals to make me look like one of them and they know that I would love to break the necks of molesters and so this is why they do this so I will be angry.

    Lets face it if you wanna quit pot then just quit ther is no need to employ corrupt useless government workers who make a livinbg of of the sick molesters in my town.

    So when you hear about pot rehab it is indeed bullshit so don’t ever buy that bullshit it is just another tool for the man to make it look like weed is bad and we all know weed is our medicine.

    Oh and by the way I am a better person with my weed,I am healthy in mind and body after all when I smoke it for 30 griggin years and then get every kind of medical test done and I shock the shit out of the doctors who cannot beleive I am so healthy.

    The doctor looked for everything and anything he could look for to fool me into beleiving that this was all just in my head but found nothing but WEED as a way to fool the people in my life.

    So again folks please beleive me ,he whole pot rehab thing is a joke.

  21. Dale allo on

    my cousin and his wife are heavy smokers and when they quit for a few days they were nervous wrecks and real assholes. they were snappign at everyone and his blood pressure shot up. they had severe cravings for it quite similar to a jonesing that a narcotic addict has. they have convinced me that marijuana is in fact addictive although they were heavy users smoking a few ounces a week. i myself have never had that problem at all with giving it up but of course i smoked roughly only 14 grams a month. the pot people are so sure that the stuff is harmless that they hide the truth and the people who want it illegal are making up plenty of lies as well. i cant wait until one day the real facts are out there like we seemingly have with tobacco

  22. Anonymous on

    I and most I know do not believe pot is addictive in the general sense. I have smoked it for nearly 40 yrs, I quit once for 2 years just to see if I could do it & did easily, life wasn’t quite as interesting, that’s all.

  23. MOTFA on

    I know if i don’t drink coke for a day that i feel withdrawal.
    But if i go without smoking weed for a week or a month, I feel nothing.

  24. Anonymous on

    I think cannabis “addiction” would be a good topic for Marc Emery to write about, as he has gone from smoking as much of the best stuff as he wanted to the situation now where (in jail) he can consume none. I would be interested in reading about how Marc finds that aspect of incarceration. I think “withdrawl” might partially explain his initial sleeping problems in jail.