The singer Lady Gaga told a local New York morning radio DJ that she had been addicted to marijuana. People first reported:
"I have been addicted to it and it's ultimately related to anxiety coping and it's a form of self-medication and I was smoking up to 15-20 marijuana cigarettes a day with no tobacco," she said on Elvis Duran and The Z100 Morning Show.
"I was living on a totally other psychedelic plane, numbing myself completely, and looking back I do see now that some of it had to do with my hip pain. I didn't know where the pain was coming from so I was just in a lot of pain and very depressed all the time and not really sure why," she said.
Does it sound like maybe she was taking prescription pain pills too? Subsequent reports don't appear to mention it. Lady Gaga recently broke her hip on stage, and at the end of the People write up of the interview she's quoted:
"The truth is that I can break, and I did. I was not very good at breaking. I lost everything that I love. I was in a wheelchair for six months. I did a lot of drugs and took a lot of pills," she admitted.
But Gaga said she plans to "fight" her addiction, and challenge herself to create music without the aid of mood-altering substances.
"I do put that pressure on myself; I have to be high to be creative. I need that, that's an error in my life that happened for over 10 years. Can I be brilliant without it? I know that I can be and I have to be because I want to live, and I want my fans to want to live."
The Drug Policy Alliance notes:
According to a federal Institute of Medicine study in 1999, fewer than 10 percent of those who try marijuana ever meet the clinical criteria for dependence, while 32 percent of tobacco users and 15 percent of alcohol users do. According to federal data, marijuana treatment admissions referredT by the criminal justice system rose from 48 percent in 1992 to 58 percent in 2006. Just 45 percent of marijuana admissions met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for marijuana dependence. More than a third hadn't used marijuana in the 30 days prior to admission for treatment.
Drug courts are often a paradox, trapping non-violent "offenders"with the choice of being criminals or sick. The danger with comparing marijuana to the perfectly legal tobacco and alcohol is the desire of some authoritarians to ban it all.
As Brian Doherty noted about the feds characterizing spending on a purported cure for marijuana addiction as something with a clear medical need, "there is certainly a clear institutional need on the part of the drug treatment industry, Big Pharma, and an American government on all levels that is going to be more and more troubled by the realities of human beings enjoying smoking a plant that hovers between commodity, medicine, and menace."
A review in the Washington Post, incidentally, is not interested in Lady Gaga's latest studio effort, criticizing her for making statements about culture only in "the most cartoonishly broad strokes."