More Marijuana Misinformation

A new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine is warning that there’s proof that marijuana is addictive, and use of the drug during the teen years has been linked to abnormalities in the brain that could impair learning, memory, and IQ. 

OK, let’s take a closer look here.  It’s not a NEW study; it’s a REVIEW of dozens of OLD studies.  And consider the source: it’s published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has since its inception had a clear agenda to keep marijuana illegal.  Follow the money: NIDA has a U.S. government-granted monopoly on the production of medical marijuana for research purposes.  Research, of course, that is largely underwritten by pharmaceutical companies.  

The jury is still out on whether marijuana really causes brain damage in young brains.  But common sense suggests it’s probably not a good idea to introduce a chemical into a developing brain.

However, in terms of the “finding” that marijuana is “addictive”, Dr. J Wesley Boyd — a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and recognized expert on addiction issues — admits that the NIDA’s numbers that about 9% of marijuana users eventually become addicted ARE accurate.  But context is necessary.  He also points out that 32% of tobacco users and 15% of alcohol users also become addicted. 

Even more potentially dangerous:  PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

National studies in the U.S. show that a teenager is more likely to have abused a prescription drug than any illegal street drug. 

And according to a study published in the journal Lancet, researchers in Australia found that prescription painkillers contribute to more illnesses and deaths worldwide than cocaine or heroin.  More than 15 million people around the world are addicted to opioid painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin, compared to 13 million people who are addicted to marijuana.  

But here’s where the comparison differs even more sharply:  in 2010 alone, 40,000 people died from painkiller overdoses.  In the entire history of mankind’s use of marijuana, not ONE single death has ever been attributed to marijuana.

So the moral of the story here:  consider the source … and follow the money.