Experts Debate Addictiveness of Marijuana

By Staff Writer

Across the country, rates of marijuana abuse are increasing. The drug is the second most commonly used substance, just behind alcohol. The situation has sparked controversy in many communities regarding the role that law enforcement and rehab programs should play in ending this type of abuse.

One of the central questions in this debate is whether or not marijuana is addictive. While most users report that they do not experience addiction, experts say that the truth may be a little hazy.

“That’s the subject of theoretical dispute,” Matthew Palmatier, a professor of psychology at Kansas State University, told the Collegian. “I think the clinical definitions of what constitutes substance dependence are really all about a loss of control. When you are taking a drug and you can’t stop and you fail at attempts to cut back, that’s essentially loss of control.”

He added that a marijuana user’s environment may play an important role in whether or not they become addicted. If the substance is around, dependence is more likely.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that marijuana is the second leading cause of seeking addiction rehab therapy.