Medical Marijuana Addiction
We titled this article Medical Marijuana addiction, but keeping with an objective viewpoint it should really be titled as Medical Marijuana and addiction.
The change in individual state laws concerning marijuana has led to a rise of retail Marijuana establishments that cater to those seeking Marijuana for medicinal purposes. The scope of this article is not whether Marijuana is addictive, (that is discussed here in our Marijuana addiction article) but whether or not an increase in visibility will increase the number of self-described Marijuana addicts. Notice how we said Marijuana visibility, not Marijuana availability. For all intensive purposes the availability of Marijuana has not increased or decreased due to the proliferation of Medical Marijuana dispensaries as the illegal channels have always and continue to remain the sources of the majority of Marijuana distribution. However the visibility of Marijuana has increased due to more news stories on Medical Marijuana and Marijuana legislation than the familiar law-enforcement raids of Marijuana growers and distribution channels. In the past one could say reports of raids and seizures had a negative re-enforcing effect on viewers of said reports, whereas continued reports of Medical Marijuana dispensaries could be interpreted by a addiction-leaning individual as a societal normalization and acceptance of Marijuana. That being said, regardless of what is aired in the various medias, the individual is still responsible for their own interpretations and choices in life. Whether or not Marijuana has a medicinal use is beyond the scope of this article, but for the individual seeking access to Marijuana the potential to fake a health issue is certainly with in scope and reason. Using the argument of media coverage of Medical Marijuana as more positive one could suggest that many who avoided use based of fear of prosecution could be more inclined to do so now that a legal channel exists. Could such individuals become addicted to medical Marijuana based on legal availability? Will legal channels and availability of Marijuana lead to greater addiction? One could argue yes based on the addiction statistics of the most popular legal drug; alcohol.
For years advocates of legalized Marijuana have cited the addiction and fatality statistics of alcohol as a means of highlighting the hypocrisy of Marijuana laws. The de facto argument is that alcohol kills a said number of people whereas no one has never died of Marijuana use. (a rather weak argument at that) Alcohol enjoys this title based on its public acceptance and ease of availability. As Marijuana, medical or otherwise becomes increasingly visible and acceptable addiction rates should follow a similar trend. Better tracking of addiction and fatality statistics will result in a more accurate and more concrete understanding of Marijuana addiction.
For now we can frame Medical Marijuana addiction by the means and use individual obtain and use it.
Using the California example, Medical Marijuana is only for those deemed by a licensed physician to have a medical condition that can be treated by Medical Marijuana.
Question: Are you lying about the condition in order to obtain a prescription for Medical Marijuana?
A doctor when writing the prescription will specify the time and dosage needed to treat the condition.
Question: Are you following the doctor's orders or are you using Medical Marijuana in a different manner than prescribed?
These are two simple questions, but give great insight into those engaging in drug seeking behavior that is so common with addicted individuals.
Ultimately those receiving treatment via Medical Marijuana can become addicted just as easily as those receiving treatment via Vicodin, Xanax, or any other prescription pill.
One must not view the legal availability and prescription of a drug as a guarantee of its safety. This is especially important for those with a past usage of Marijuana who attempt to fool themselves into believing that the legal status of Medical Marijuana will somehow exclude them from the potential for addiction.
If you feel that you are addicted to Marijuana, medical or otherwise it is important that you seek help. We have compiled a 50 state resource of drug addiction centers that will help you treat Marijuana addiction and other drug addictions that you might have.