Earlier this month, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse announced plans to spend $4 million to establish the nation's first-ever "Center on Cannabis Addiction," which will be based in La Jolla, Calif. The goal of the center, according to NIDA's press release, is to "develop novel approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of marijuana addiction."
Not familiar with the notion of "marijuana addiction"? You're not alone. In fact, aside from the handful of researchers who have discovered that there are gobs of federal grant money to be had hunting for the government's latest pot boogeyman, there's little consensus that such a syndrome is clinically relevant -- if it even exists at all. [...]
Of those in treatment, some 36 percent had not even used marijuana in the 30 days prior to their admission. These are the "addicts"?
I'll go one step further: the National Academy of Science declared--after a substantial study in 1999--that there is little incidence of psychological dependence on marijuana and virtually no evidence of physical addiction. Not surprisingly, NAS's Institute of Medicine found alcohol to be an addictive drug, but not pot.
But, hey, those California Congressional Representatives know how to bring home those tax dollars, don't they?