Paul Armentano writes on Alternet:
The government keeps pushing the BS that pot is addictive and has serious health consequences. And no wonder — lying about pot is a lucrative business.
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. As I reported for AlterNet last year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which overseas more than 85 percent of the world’s research on controlled substances, recently appropriated some $4 million in taxpayers’ dollars to establish the nation’s first-ever Center for Cannabis Addiction. Its mission: to “develop novel approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of marijuana addiction.”
Of course, what good is a research center if it isn’t conducting clinical research? To this end, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recently made millions of dollars in grant funding available “to support research studies that focus on the identification, and preclinical and clinical evaluation, of medications that can be safe and effective for the treatment of cannabis-use and -induced disorders.”
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