Does Medical Marijuana Create Greater Need for Alcohol Drug Classes?

by Mike Miller February 29, 2012

As a rational human being I do not see how legalizing marijuana for any reason will not increase the need for drug classes and drug counseling. Both California and Colorado have seen huge increases in the use of marijuana since the drug has proliferated through “medical” dispensaries.

It was back in 1979 that Keith Stroup, the head of the National Organization of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told the Emory University school newspaper, The Emory Wheel, that "We are trying to get marijuana reclassified medically. If we do that, (we'll do it in at least 20 states this year for chemotherapy patients) we'll be using the issue as a red herring to give marijuana a good name."

Seriously, unless you have AIDS or glaucoma there would appear to be no way to give marijuana a good name.

Keep in mind, the American Medical Association has found ZERO medical value in marijuana.

Is it really any surprise that NORML -- the nation's oldest marijuana legalization organization -- published in their weekly newsletter the sweeping assertion that "medical marijuana has no discernible impact on marijuana use."

The NORML studies miss the mark, by failing to take into account the actual implementation of medical marijuana laws. For example, California did not have "dispensaries" until 2003, seven years after the law was enacted. And Rhode Island, the state used in the Brown study, had about 1,500 people in the entire program, so it's not a revelation that the state would not see any significant effect on teens.

My guess is that medical marijuana will significantly increase all forms of drug use in this country.

Time will tell, with further study and analysis, how medical marijuana is affecting attitudes and use rates in the long term.

Why Do You Need Weed?

What of course is never talked about is how medical marijuana programs in states that have gone full steam ahead actually work. Rarely mentioned is the fact that, for example, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis that examined 1,655 applicants in California who sought a physician's recommendation for medical marijuana, very few of those who sought a recommendation had cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis.

One study, analyzing over 3,000 "medical marijuana users in California, found that an overwhelming majority (87.9%) of those queried about the details of their marijuana initiation had tried it before the age of 19, and the average user was a 32-year-old white male. 74% of the Caucasians in the sample had used cocaine, and over 50% had used methamphetamine in their lifetime. Hardly any had life-threatening illnesses.

It's time to get the legalization lobby out of the business of medical marijuana and instead focus our attention on scientists developing non-smoked marijuana-based medications for the truly ill. That would make this issue no longer the sick joke that it is today.

In the meantime drug classes will see a sharp rise in the number of students and marijuana will become even more prevalent than it already is.


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