Will Legal Marijuana Lead to More Addicts? Probably Not

At present, cannabis is fully legalized in Colorado and Washington and will soon be fully legalized in Oregon and Alaska. Additionally, medical cannabis is legal in 23 states. The writing is on the wall that more and more states are going to legalize cannabis in various ways and that access will become easier and easier. In the face of this reality, two big questions arise: will cannabis usage skyrocket? Will addiction rates go through the roof?

The answer to both is probably not.

Is marijuana addictive?

Before we even get to the question about possible increased rates of addiction, some people will object because they don’t think marijuana is addictive.

Because the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are somewhat mild compared to other drugs, people often believe that marijuana is not addictive. After all, those who quit generally experience fairly subtle physiological signs of withdrawal – a mildly elevated pulse, irritability and cravings. These symptoms are much less obvious or powerful than those seen when someone addicted to alcohol, painkillers, or tranquilizers suddenly stops using. When quitting one of these drugs, individuals in withdrawal are often visibly and dramatically uncomfortable. They can have very high pulse rates and blood pressures, can hallucinate and in worst cases have seizures and even die.

Just because the signs of cannabis withdrawal are comparatively mild, though, doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive.

– Read the entire article at The Conversation.