Each and every person who criticises the idea of legalised marijuana will undoubtedly flag the same dead horse when it comes to points of contention. There’s such an incredible amount of misguided belief when it comes to what cannabis is, how it affects the body and so on that it’s hardly surprising most people have no idea what to believe. Of course, the truth is slowly but surely coming out with regard to the distinct lack of evidence with regard to marijuana being in any way detrimental to human health. Nevertheless, there is still one other question that never fails to divide opinionated parties right down the middle, which again is just the kind of thing for which there is insufficient evidence to breed any real conclusions.
The question – is marijuana addictive?
The answer – it can be, but not for everyone and not nearly to the same extent as alcohol.
You really need only take a quick glance at the statistics to gain a better understanding of what’s really going on. According to official research carried out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, somewhere in the region of 9% of those who use marijuana on a regular basis form some kind of dependency. It’s also worth noting that when considering dependencies, this doesn’t necessarily mean a full-scale medical addiction.
So that’s approximately 9% of regular cannabis users who form dependencies. At the other end of the scale, approximately 15% of people who drink alcohol on a regular basis become dependent – a statistic highly significant when considering just how many alcohol drinkers there are compared to cannabis users. Likewise, 32% of those who use tobacco were found to develop a dependency, of 17% of people who use cocaine find themselves dependent on the drug.
What do these figures mean? In a nutshell, just as in the same way that some people can drink alcohol on a regular basis without forming a dangerous habit and some people can’t, it is exactly the same case with cannabis. Some cannabis users smoke copious amounts of the stuff practically on a daily basis, though when and where necessary can easily walk away without a second thought and without suffering any ill effects. By contrast, there are those for whom the idea of going a single day without cannabis is quite literally too much to bear.
Of course, it isn’t the way critical parties see it at all. Instead, they consider cannabis to be an incredibly dangerous addictive drug that needs to be stamped out and deleted from existence once and for all. They insist that these kinds of findings conclusively prove that cannabis can be addictive, which in turn means it is a bad thing. But at the same time, they completely fail to factor in the small fact that pretty much everything in the world has the potential to be addictive to certain people. Junk food, chocolate, the Internet, social media, pornography – all potentially addictive, but not the kinds of things public health groups are seeking to ban.
Well, not all of them, anyway.
According to the same study carried out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, younger cannabis smokers and teenagers are considerably more likely to develop dependencies than adults. Which is entirely understandable and hardly surprising, given the fact that younger adults and teenagers in general are not considered as logical or rational when it comes to lifestyle decisions and habits.
Which in turn boils down to the simplest of advice for those with deep concerns about cannabis addiction. If you are going to smoke cannabis, think about starting a little later and being mindful about how much you can handle. Or if you are really terrified about the prospect of cannabis addiction, don’t smoke the stuff at all!