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 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.