Vice Squad
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Marijuana Treatment: Rebuttal Number 2

Early yesterday I pointed out an unbalanced Reuters news story on the perils of the new, high-voltage marijuana, and how this claim -- "The number of children and teen-agers in treatment for marijuana dependence and abuse has jumped 142 percent since 1992, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in April." -- was given without rebuttal or context. My post linked to an earlier rebuttal from Pete Guither at Drug WarRant, but I want to mention Ethan Nadelmann's fine recent article ("An End to Marijuana Prohibition") in the July 12th National Review, too. Here's the part of Nadelmann's article that addresses the treatment claims:

"Few Americans who enter "treatment" for marijuana are addicted. Fewer than one in five people entering drug treatment for marijuana do so voluntarily. More than half were referred by the criminal justice system. They go because they got caught with a joint or failed a drug test at school or work (typically for having smoked marijuana days ago, not for being impaired), or because they were caught by a law-enforcement officer--and attending a marijuana "treatment" program is what's required to avoid expulsion, dismissal, or incarceration. Many traditional drug treatment programs shamelessly participate in this charade to preserve a profitable and captive client stream."

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