Alternet.org: The Feds Are Addicted to Pot — Even If You Aren’t
Check out this latest request for applications from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
“Cannabis-related disorders (CRDs), including cannabis abuse or dependence and cannabis induced disorders … are a major public health issue. … Nearly one million people are seeking treatment for marijuana dependence every year and sufficient research has been carried out to confirm that the use of cannabis can produce serious physical and psychological consequences.
“Currently, there are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of CRDs. Given the extent of the use of cannabis in the general population, and the medical and psychological consequences of its use … there is a great public health need to develop safe and effective therapeutic interventions. The need to develop treatments targeting adolescents and young adults is particularly relevant in view of their disproportionate use patterns.”
In other words, the federal government is spending millions upon millions of your dollars to solicit research to find a supposed ‘cure’ for alleged ‘marijuana addiction‘ — at the same time that it is spending virtually no money on clinical trials to assess the medical value of cannabis itself.
I try my best to cut through the BS (“One million people are seeking treatment?!” Um, more like 287,933 — and six out of ten of them were referred by the criminal justice system following an arrest.) in my latest Alternet essay, “The Feds Are Addicted to Pot — Even If You Aren’t,” which you can read and comment on here.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Feds Are Addicted to Pot — Even If You Aren’t
Marijuana’s addiction potential may be no big deal, but it’s certainly big business.
According to a widely publicized 1999 Institute of Medicine report, fewer than 10 percent of those who try cannabis ever meet the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of “drug dependence” (based on DSM-III-R criteria). By contrast, 32 percent of tobacco users and 15 percent of alcohol users meet the criteria for “drug dependence.”
Nevertheless, it is pot — not booze or cigarettes — that has the federal government seeing red and clinical investigators seeing green.
Read the entire article here. December 1, 2009