No “Forced Treatment” For Cannabis

CANNABIS CULTURE – Forced “treatment” of homosexuals is horrifying, and so is forced treatment of pot smokers.

Treatments to try and “cure” homosexuals have historically included atrocities such as icepick lobotomies, testicle transplants, electroshocks and chemical castration. Now we know that this kind of “treatment” is pseudo-scientific nonsense that causes a great deal of harm.

Modern cannabis addiction treatment is just as unscientific, useless and harmful as gay-straight conversion therapy. Did you know that there is no license or regulation around addiction therapy in Canada? Anyone can hang out a shingle and charge as much as they want for whatever made-up treatment they’ve invented. And they do.

Now that “cannabis use disorder” is an official mental illness, and one that applies to pretty much every pot smoker, how long until we have forced treatment for cannabis users? Indeed, this is exactly what groups like “Smart Approaches to Marijuana” are calling for – mandatory treatment for pot smokers, with monitoring to ensure we don’t backslide into the sin of using cannabis.

Straight, Inc.

It’s one thing if someone voluntarily signs up for this kind of program, but forced treatment for cannabis users can be horrifying. One awful example was the massive anti-pot program called Straight Inc., which operated across the USA for two decades. The program was endorsed by Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Princess Diana, Jeb Bush and many other prominent figures.

Straight Inc. took in thousands of kids as young as 10 years old, and kept them for many months at a time, offering highly abusive and demeaning “treatment” for minor use of cannabis or other drugs. Parents were pressured to also bring in all the inmates’ siblings for this treatment as well.

Techniques included having kids degrade and spit on each other, verbal and physical abuse, and “marathons” where kids were not allowed to sleep or eat for three days and nights. Straight Inc. eventually collapsed under dozens of lawsuits and massive payouts for assault, abuse and imprisonment. Many of those who were “treated” by Straight Inc. suffered lifelong trauma.

Faith-based therapy

Like gay-straight conversion therapy, cannabis and drug addiction therapy is often based on unscientific religious beliefs. The worst example is the “Church” of Scientology, which operates extensive drug addiction clinics under the name “Narconon.”

Scientology uses Narconon as a front to get people entangled in their pseudo-religion. Their clinics are more like prisons which offer brainwashing instead of therapy. Also, several children have died after being enrolled in the Narconon program. (Here’s a 2013 news story from NBC about Narconon.)

One of these Scientology Narconon clinics used to operate in Quebec. The Quebec Human Rights Commission found that Narconon Trois-Riviers had been milking patients and their families for as much money as possible, while subjecting them to risky, unscientific, humiliating and degrading practices. Finally, in 2013, Narconon Trois-Rivieres had their charitable status revoked, and was forced to close the doors of their 100 bed Scientology-based drug rehab.

Although Narconon is by far the worst example, the mixing of religious conversion with addiction treatment is very common with these kinds of programs. According to this BC government health website:

“Many support recovery programs in British Columbia incorporate religion into programming. Typically, these programs have a Christian orientation and require mandatory participation in one or all of the following activities: group bible study, scheduled independent bible reading, or Sunday worship.”

Most people now recognize that gay-to-straight conversion therapy is unscientific, religion-based, harmful nonsense, but too many still believe that stoner-to-straight conversion therapy is scientific and successful.

The fact is, they are both built on the same unscientific, faith-based foundation. They’re trying to cure normal people from being sinners, because of outdated and hypocritical moral codes.

It’s time to stop treating natural behaviour as a sin and a sickness. Being gay is normal. So is using cannabis. Get over it.