Drug Policy

Casual Pot Addicts


NORML's Paul Armentano notes that, according to the government's own data, one-third of the people admitted to treatment for marijuana "dependency" in the U.S. have not smoked pot in the previous month. How is that possible? See if you can guess.

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  1. Without looking at the link, it’s almost certainly because the courts require people to check into rehab if they’re convicted of possession, because possession of marijuana is regarded as de facto evidence of “a drug problem”.

    So even if you smoked pot once a month, you’d still be declared an abuser by the system, because that’s the way prohibitionist scum thinks.

  2. Hmm, I’m starting to think our drug laws might be slightly short of perfect and effective.

  3. Show them we won’t take it anymore.

    Attend the Floridians Advocating Medical Marijuana Education (FLAMME) benefit, that my band is playing.

    Additional info Here and Here.

  4. Personally I’ve been to treatment twice, but only once was it court ordered.

    The other time I went on my own… but it was on advice from my lawyer… to try to get a reduced sentence.

  5. SmokyJoe: What does “treatment” for “marijuana dependency” actually consist of?

  6. Oh BTW, it is safe to say that neither time did I get cured of drug problem.

  7. Alkali,

    The programs were not specific to the drugs involved. Basically there were 3 types of people there. Ones with real drug problems who voluntarily went (mostly meth addicts where I live), court-ordered pot heads who had to pretend to have problems so they could be “cured” so their consolers would send the appropriate report to their judge/PO, and the court ordered fucking loonies who were so far beyond help that there is no way the program would do any good.

    I think at least some of the consolers knew the score with the pot heads, so as long as you played along a little and didn’t disrupt group therapy, they played too and pretty much left you alone.

    Basically like our drug laws in general, it was a farce.

  8. like i really care when a month has gone by

  9. The treatment industry will be even tougher than law enforcement when it come to legalizing drugs. It isn’t just money to these guys, it’s a freaking mission.

  10. When I was doing social work for the state a group of us were sent to a seminar on drug abuse and treatment. The clinic we went to got a lot of business from court mandated cases. After brief introductions we split into groups and the first counselor we met with told us that anyone who is underage and drinks has a problem. We thought we heard him wrong.

    “What if the underage person only has one drink a week?”
    “That’s a problem drinker because it’s against the law.”
    “What if the underage drinker is 20 years old and moves to Europe?”
    “I guess that would be okay then.”
    “So if anyone ever smokes marajuana they’re an abuser cause it’s illegal?”

    Everyone in our group tuned out after that and watched the clock till lunch break.

  11. I’m guessing it’s because pot makes you forgetful, and those poor weed-addled addicts just forgot to smoke for a month.

  12. Come on folks … pot is addictive. Just like any other substance known to man, it can be habit-forming and can be dangerous. All of you should be glad for reasonable treatment programs instead of the “harsh” sentencing that is railed against on H&R every day.

  13. “Rather, most of these individuals are arrested for possessing minor amounts of pot and are referred to drug treatment by the courts as either an alternative to jail or as a requirement of their probation.”

    I expect to see referrals as an alternative to increase. I think they call it reform.

  14. The treatment industry will be even tougher than law enforcement when it come to legalizing drugs. It isn’t just money to these guys, it’s a freaking mission.

    Actually, I think it would be a great boon for the industry. First of all, if drugs were legalized I have a feeling that the treatment lobby could get their hands on quite a bit of the money now used for the war on drugs.

    Secondly, when you look at the influence of anti-drunk driving groups, I think it’s very likely that the treatment industry would gain significantly in public prominence and stature.

    Thirdly, without a portion of their paying customers going to jail for non-violent crimes they could spend much more time and earn way more money re-educating them.

  15. “All of you should be glad for reasonable treatment programs instead of the “harsh” sentencing that is railed against on H&R every day.”

    If someone really thinks they have a problem that treatment would help with, more power to them. But the assumption on the part of the courts is that any marijuana use is by definition a drug problem that requires treatment. Many of us know from experience that this position is asinine. You wouldn’t force someone into alcohol rehab for having a sixpack in their trunk.

    And yeah, I concede that pot like anything pleasurable can be habit forming. But as bad habits go, it’s pretty benign. Short-term memory loss, a little weight gain, and a general lack of ambition won’t make you a great success in life but it’s not going to kill you either.

  16. The treatment industry is just another special interest that supports the War on Drugs Sanity. It’s 70% of their business. Wal Mart would go belly up if 70% of their customers went away. I’ve been discounting the counseling experts input on the debate for some time, but it’ll be nice to have that 70% figure when arguing discussing the issue with others.

  17. Has anyone else noticed that a hell of a lot of people in the treatment industry are ex-junkies who have taken a six-week course and are now certified “drug counsellors”.

    For some reason they can’t imagine that the guy who’s there because he was court ordered for his first DUI is not just like they were, knocking over liquor stores or selling their car for just enough cash for a fix.

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