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Posted on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 6:01 a.m.

Ann Arbor area addicts turn to Marijuana Anonymous for help

By Lee Higgins

Hooked on pot? A new support group in Ann Arbor aims to help.

Marijuana Anonymous, based on the same 12-step program as Alcoholics Anonymous, opened a chapter in the city last month.

It was started by a man who has been pot-free for three years after attending MA meetings in Ferndale and was looking to fill a need locally. He said the program is based on the concept of addicts helping other addicts.

"I certainly thought I wasn't the only person here in Ann Arbor who had an addictive relationship with marijuana," he said. "I think that for any mind-altering substance, there is going to be a certain proportion of users who will develop obsessive use patterns. As it becomes more readily available and socially accepted, I anticipate the number of people having an addictive relationship with it will increase."

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A support group is now available locally for those addicted to marijuana.

An reporter was permitted to attend one of the group’s meetings on a recent Friday at First Baptist Church, provided that names of addicts not be used. The chapter's founder described how he became powerless over marijuana, smoking it daily for 25 years — since he was 12.

He drove across the country with suitcases full of pot, put his family in dangerous situations and skipped a friend’s wedding because he couldn’t go a weekend without weed, he said. He used other drugs, including crack cocaine, he said, but the only drug he couldn't stop using was marijuana.

“Being an addict is a crazy state of mind,” he said. “I did a lot of stupid stuff…Staying in the day is really important for my recovery. We talk about one day at a time in these meetings.”"

Two other men attended the meeting, including a 26-year-old graduate student who has been pot-free for 27 days. When he was 14, he said, he was diagnosed with depression and turned to marijuana. But the drug quickly took control of his life.

“It was just a vicious pattern of using and not being able to snap out of it,” he said. “I wasn’t living up to my full potential. It was eating away at me, the guilt of not living up to what I should be.”

"In retrospect it was really sad and pathetic just looking forward to getting high all the time."

An 18-year-old college student who attended the meeting described how drug dealers used to visit him at work, and he could have lost his job. He was failing his classes last semester because of his pot addiction, he said. Attending meetings has helped him stay clean for 20 days and step it up academically.

“I’m taking the exact same classes, and they’re incredibly easy now," he said.

The meeting opened and closed with the serenity prayer and included readings from MA literature. At one point, addicts put a few dollars on the table to help support the chapter. 

Copies of the monthly MA publication, "a new leaf," were available. One recent meeting was attended by 12 people.

According to the Marijuana Anonymous World Services website, MA meetings are available in at least 35 states and a number of other countries.

The man who started the Ann Arbor chapter told the group he's been encouraged that young people have been attending the 5:30 p.m. meetings every Friday at the church on East Washington Street.

"For me, it really makes me feel good to see young people doing recovery," he said. "It's a beautiful thing because I could have used it a lot earlier."

Lee Higgins is a reporter for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and e-mail at


aa booster

Fri, Jan 28, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

If you have lived with an addict of any kind, you are witness to a person whose morning, noon, and night is all about their behavior of choice. I feel despair for my son whose life would be positive, were it not for pot. Those of you who are caught in the cycle - how is it working for you?

Ann Arbor MA

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

First we must make a decision that we want to change. From there, we attend meetings and learn from other people's experiences how to make the change that we want for ourselves.


Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

legalize it


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

Shame breeds contempt. The pot head aren't happy this article.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

Anything can be addictive, if you let it control you life. The addiction may be physical, it may be mental, and it may be physiological. Jack LaLane and Jane Fonda were addicted to exercise. Thousands of people are addicted to pepsi. There are folks addicted to the internet. Addiction is not about what you do or use, but how you do or use it.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:01 a.m.

I'm glad that there's an organization like MA to help people better themselves, feel at peace, make friends with others of like mind, and learn to live without the crutch of drugs. Too bad all the users of substances feel sooooo threatened by it they have to spend half the day commenting, backbiting, justifying, and rationalizing away why they choose to use in these comments. Live and let live, I guess, only applies if you don't already feel sorta guilty about your own substance use.

Ann Arbor MA

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

Hi Deborah, MA has no dispute with people who believe in the medical efficacy of Marijuana. As with other mind and mood altering substances, some users become addicted to Marijuana. MA's only project is to offer peer support to those individuals who feel that we are unable to address our problem with abuse of Marijuana alone. If this strikes you as hysterical, I'm afraid we will just disagree.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:26 a.m.

I am merely trying to educate people. I have hundreds of studies that show how Cannabis cures. I have seen thousands of studies that use Marinol as its investigation substance which then extrapolate results from tests on this white powder that is a synthetic analog of one medically useful component of cannabis. These studies are bogus and have very little relation to medical cannabis. It is similar to saying that lemons being the active ingredient in lemonade are the only thing needed for a lemonade experience. CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids work with delta 9 thc in the body PRE-synaptically which is very different from most drugs and that is what gives cannabis its various medical properties that include analgesia, vaso-dilation, muscle relaxant and broncho dilation. No hysteria here sir. The hysteria comes from people trying to misdirect others away from the truth


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 12:58 a.m.

MA, that's about as funny as going to rehab for weed.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

There is nothing inherently wrong with marijuana use if you don't mind breaking laws that you disagree with. Most people in the world can use marijuana with no negative consequences. Some portion of people who try it will have problems with it. some portion of those people who develop problems because of their use will be unable to stop despite negative consequences, not be able to control their intake and start to organize their lives around its use. People who are not predisposed genetically, psychologically and environmentally to problematic use are unable to understand, or have a hard time understanding, those who are. Most substances are not addictive to people who are not predisposed. Most people who drink are not alcoholics and most people who try cocaine are not addicts. If you don't get it thats ok. Why rag on people who are obviously trying to better themselves. This guy has no agenda. He is not trying to get you to quit. He is not trying to criminalize marijuana. He just wants a better life for himself and his family. Peace


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

Anything can be addictive as a bunch of writers have shown. We decide that, because a small percentage of the population get addicted, no one should do it and we make it illegal. People, of course, do not stop doing it and illegal purveyors make millions by creating large gangs to sell this stuff. Meanwhile a bunch of users go to jail, and we create an industry policing the enforcement of these laws. We do this process over and over and we never learn. How smart are we?


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

The definition most commonly accepted by addiction experts is a boiled-down version of the one laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR), psychiatry's handbook of all mental conditions. By the book, addiction is the compulsive use of a substance despite ongoing negative consequences, which may lead to tolerance or withdrawal symptoms when the substance is stopped. By this definition, about 10% of people who smoke marijuana become addicted to it. Source: DSM IV.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:38 a.m.

Caffeine kills people every year. Marijuana does not. It's also been demonstrated that the amount of caffeine that addicts digest in a day is responsible for less productivity due to overstimulation. Marijuana has not been linked causally to lung cancer. Marijuana has actually proven capable of decreasing the size of cancerous cells. You really need to get current on marijuana research and stop trying to present arguments based on your own unverified "common sense".


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:34 a.m.

that is the old refuted definition. Look up the new online.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:07 a.m.

I understand what you're saying Robert, but it seems that there is alot of negatives to drug use...ANY drug use, be it of something relatively benign like marijuana, or something more complex, like nicotine, alcohol, or LSD...that has gotten lost in the medical marijuana movement of late, and for this reason, it's caused me sorta solidify a stance of anti-drug just as a bulwark against ALOT of phony science and phony quasi-medical jargon that the MM movement seems to be using lately, imho. I sorta liked it better and was all in with it when it all was just plain illegal...and thus easy to comprehend. It's gotten alot greyer since it went quasi-legal, and there's still people being addicted and harmed by marijuana use, every day.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

Coffee seems to contribute to some generally benefical aspects of society...increased productivity, sociability in cafe society, increased alertness and attentionspan for workers and students...while marijuana, while benefical, we suppose for the ill, seems to increase user paranoia, leads to social isolation and ostracization, leads to involvement in a criminal underground economy with all of its dangers, and can be implicated in decreased productivity, apathy among users, and lung cancer. Hmm. I'll take the coffee. One sugar, no cream, thanks.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

So I guess a teenager who masturbates would be an addict. A video gamer is an addict, a person who exercises is an addict, a vegetarian is an addict, a person who drives after a car accident is an addict. A person who has too many children is an addict. A hoarder is an addict. EVERYBODY IS AN ADDICT. Now you have made the term useless.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 9 p.m.

Yup. Their percent figure is based in poor methodology but the text revision is the latest edition of the DSM and doesn't reflect any new perspectives. One can be addicted to marijuana and this addiction can, but doesn't have to, include physical dependence. That being said, marijuana is has less potential for physical dependence than the caffeine in a cup coffee. Being legal and widely acceptable to use, coffee doesn't present the same negative consequences for addicts.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

All rancor aside, I would like to thank Ann for providing beneficial information on MA and available 12 Step help for people who feel they have a problem with substance abuse and could use some peer-based help with recovery issues. I'd like to see this paper provide more information on positive things like recovery and help for chemical dependency, and spend less time covering the doings of all the ex-drug-dealers now posing as "compassionate caregivers" at the dispensaries in our community.

Atticus F.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

the problem is, that when people get on the front page of the newspaper and make wild accusations on how "pot made them smuggle drugs acroos country" or how they were "able to give up crack and not pot", it can be used as a catalyst to take away other peoples rights, or to brand an entire group of people as lazy druggies. including people like myself who get up at 6:00 am, work 10 hours/day, give to charity, and pay property taxes on 3 homes as well as income tax.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

When I was arrested for marijuana, I was given the choice to attend rehab and identify as a marijuana addict. It was either that or lose my financial aid for 2 years. I chose to lose my financial aid for two years instead of enrolling in what would probably have been only a 4-6 week program. I chose this because the DEA tracks the number of marijuana addicts by using the number of people enrolled in rehab programs. The vast majority of those people would never self-identify or be diagnosed as addicts, but the criminal justice system forces them into a corner that they can only escape by identifying as an addict. In that way, the criminal justice system creates "addicts" to point to when marijuana legalization and decriminalization is discussed. For a lot of people the choice isn't between losing financial aid or rehab... its jail or rehab... and then the choice is obvious. These souped up numbers allow the DEA to claim that some 9% of users become addicted to marijuana. I wonder what the real statistic would be if addicts were identified by doctors and not judges. Even if they're taken at their word that 9% become addicts that number is dwarfed by the rest of their drug statistics... 15% for alcohol addicts, 17% for cocaine, 23% for heroin and 32% for tobacco.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

That is not true. I gave up smoking for a longer period of time than rehab would've required anyway. Giving up smoking weed is not something that I find difficult. I am not a marijuana addict. The real reason was a result of the thought I put into my decision. I came to the conclusion that, as an old man reflecting on my life, I would feel ashamed and regret having lied to serve my own self-interest, while giving fodder to the war that put me and countless others into the criminal justice system.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

All well and good, but don't lie now: the real reason you chose to not enroll in rehab was because you'd have to give up smoking weed.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 6:18 p.m.

I know MA isn't a rehab program and I didn't intend to imply that it is. As a psychology student, I've attended several NA and AA meetings. To get my aid back, I would have to attend a state approved rehab program with either in-patient or daily outpatient care. MA would not suffice. Sorry for the confusion.

Ann Arbor MA

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

MA is not a rehab program. We are an anonymous non-professional group which discloses no info to any outside organization.

Ann Arbor MA

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

I'm a member of this group, Ann Arbor MA. We have no opinion on whether Marijuana should be legal. Some members think it should, some think it shouldn't. MA has no opinion on this or any other question of politics or policy. We are not interested in the question of how or if Marijuana is addictive, or how it compares to other substances in that regard. We know from our own experiences that we need support from other addicts in not using Marijuana. We have no dues for membership, there is no profit in our enterprise. We do not look for excuses for our past behavior, but we look for solutions to our obsession with substances and inspiration and support from one another as we attempt to improve ourselves as family members, employees and employers, and productive members of society in general. MA meets every Friday at 5:30pm at the First Baptist Church on Washington street in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor MA

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

Atticus, With all due respect, I don't see the connection between this story and the denial of people's rights. It is generally accepted knowledge that Alcohol and Tobacco account for many thousands of deaths each year, yet the 'right' to use these substances is undisputed. As far as I can see, the subject who is quoted in the article made no claims about the impact of Marijuana on anyone but themselves.

Atticus F.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

AAMA, the problem is, that when people get on the front page of the newspaper and make wild accusations on how "pot made them smuggle drugs acroos country" or how they were "able to give up crack and not pot", it can be used as a catalyst to take away other peoples rights, or to brand an entire group of people as lazy druggies. including people like myself who get up at 6:00 am, work 10 hours/day, give to charity, and pay property taxes on 3 homes as well as income tax.

Ann Arbor MA

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

I agree with you Robert. I guess my point is that we are not interested in entering debate over the nature of Marijuana addiction. Thank you for your comment.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

How marijuana is addictive should be a concern for MA. New research is looking into the role of anandamide as a cause for marijuana addiction. How do you approach a problem without knowing its causes? That being said, I sympathize with your struggles. It must be difficult to fight an addiction that most people won't acknowledge as real.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

If pot is not addictive, try taking the "medicine" away from all the fiending pot "patients" for a few days. They'll be screaming discrimination and limitation of rights and medical emergency so loud their complete dependency on the drug will be undeniable.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

You can't diagnose addiction... you are not a doctor. You are incorrect in your assumption that continuing to use something with negative consequences means you have an addictive relationship. I drive a car every day despite the serious risks that exist on the road. I do not have an addictive relationship with driving a car. You seem to operate under the delusion that people making thoughtful decisions to do things that have potential for negative consequences are addicts. That is not always or usually the case. This is probably due to your lack of training in identifying addiction. I am not so bereft as a student of abnormal psychology. Most addicts are forced to come to terms with their addiction in the face of myriad consequences of their drug use. They pawn their belongings, lose spouses, skip out on family obligations, become estranged from children, lose employment, forgo friendships with non-users, etc. Whatever their circumstances, addicts generally see destruction of their pre-use lives at every turn sometimes including prosecution from law enforcement. Prosecution for drug crimes is never used as an end all be all determinant of addiction.... because you don't need to be an addict to be caught using drugs. In my case, law enforcement presented the only consequence of my drug use... it did not affect me negatively in any other perceivable way. I do not agree with the spirit or letter of the laws governing marijuana use... and as a patient I am no longer subject to the negative consequences of them. You should really stop trying to diagnose people you've never met with psychological training that you don't have. That includes passing judgment on classes of people that you don't know... like 'fiending pot patients'


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

If you continue to use something that creates negative consequences in your life, it usually means you primarily have an addictve relationship with it...not a political, medical or ethical one. I'd say getting arrested and having a criminal history because of possession and use is a pretty big negative consequence, and a possible deterrence to use.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

People wanting to use marijuana for recreational purposes don't detract from the need suffering patients have for the drug as a medicine. Opioid abuse runs rampant in this nation, yet vicodin is still considered a medicine. I use the drug both recreationally and medically. That is to say that I enjoy using it, I would do it with no physical ailments, yet I do have physical ailments that are aided by its use. It works better than aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen and is less toxic. It doesn't have the potential for addiction that opioid-based pain relievers have nor their risk of overdose. There are many patients that are unlike me and never used marijuana for recreational purposes a day in their life. They never even considered it until they became stricken with illness and found unsatisfactory relief from prescription medications. What about them?


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Also, how can you "own" a plant? We need to free the plant from the chains of the (quasi) medical establishment and get rid of all this twisted medical marijuana logic that, in the end, mainly serves to rationalize the use of a substance that most users want to use recreationally. That's why I put "patients" in quotes. Just legalize it and stop sounding like fools rationalizing your pasttime.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

You guys through alot of logic around, but in my observation, people who use marijuana get pretty darn cranky when there's "a drought" in the supply. Interestingly, they also seem to drink more until pot becomes available again.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

How about I take your house away and see if you complain about that? Taking away anything that belongs to another person is going to elicit a response. If you took narcotic pain medication from a patient the same thing would occur... the difference is that they may become physically ill as a result of their detox. Detoxification from strong physically addictive substances requires medical supervision just to make sure the person lives through the experience. Detoxing from cannabis is a misnomer as cannabis isn't toxic in the first place and the worst that can happen is lost sleep.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

your logic is quite flawed here. You attribute qualities to people you do not know and assume that anyone who wants to use marijuana is a "fiending pot 'patients.'" Additionally, you assume that just because many people enjoy it and want it, it must be addictive. You display a clear misunderstanding of what addiction truly is.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

If it didn't have such allure, it wouldn't be a big deal to do without, now would it?


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Smoked pot for about 10 years. Smoked about once a year for the last 35 or so while I held two career jobs, married (wife smokes occasionally) raised two kids, owned a couple of homes. Didn't smoke regular until I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Then I chose to ingest marijuana in brownies after excruciating pain after cancer surgery. I don't smoke now and eat a brownie once in a while and pray thatI don't need them to fight the incredible, but rare, pain after surgery. Bladder cancer commonly recurs. I'm glad that people have access to medical care whether it's to treat addiction (instead of incarceration) or choose to smoke or ingest marijuana for pain relief.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

As most have indicated, pot is not physically addictive but quitting pot can lead to psychosomatic symptoms in some heavy pot smokers and of course the return of medical symptoms that pot masked.

Josh D.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Marijuana is about good balance - nothing else. If you can't respect the plant she will torment your mind. "He drove across the country with suitcases full of pot, put his family in dangerous situations and skipped a friend's wedding because he couldn't go a weekend without weed, he said. He used other drugs, including crack cocaine, he said, but the only drug he couldn't stop using was marijuana." Can we establish that it was the crack cocaine that made the person act so irrational? Please...


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

seriously! Apparently the worst thing this guy did was smoke pot. Crack, na, that's nothing. But weed, look out man that's some intense stuff!

David Briegel

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

Coffee and caffeine is more addictive. Ever gone through withdrawal from that legal drug? I was sick every morning for a week. Action Jackson nails it. Heck, I'm addicted to a sunny day and a moonlit night!


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

The anti-marijuana crowd loves articles like this. Complete baseless opinion presented as a "social problem" because of a person's lack of self control. There have been numerous studies that show no addictive properties to marijuana. Habit and addiction are two completely different things. If people need support groups to break a habit, that's fine. But take responsibility for your own actions and call it what it is.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

Cite some studies then. I've read more of them than you have based on your statements. Here are some studies and reports that confirm the medical fact that smoking marijuana alters the brain chemistry in several of the same ways that chemically addictive drugs do. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;Neuromorphological background of cannabis addiction &quot; (link too long) <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Regardless of that fact, you don't seem to understand the definition of addiction. The American Society of Addiction medication uses this definition: &quot;Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in the individual pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. The addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving, inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant problems with one's behaviors and interpersonal relationships. &quot; The DSM-IV uses this definition: &quot;When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.&quot; By both of these definitions, a substance can be addictive regardless of biochemical alterations in the brain. By both of these definitions, there are people who are addicted to marijuana. You can't just make up your own operational definition of addiction to argue that pot isn't addictive... and that's what you have done.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

to dismiss evidence that there is addiction would be to dismiss something that doesn't exist. Anecdotal experience proves absolutely nothing. If you want to discuss medical research, study after study has shown marijuana to have no addictive properties.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

My post addressed yours perfectly. You attempted to dismiss the idea of marijuana addiction and I attempted to correct your fallacious statements. They don't confuse habit and addiction. You can form a marijuana habit but you can also become addicted. This article is only about addiction. If your point is that one cannot become addicted to marijuana, you are wrong.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

Robert, in your response you didn't address one point that I made. I never said that there were no negative effects of marijuana use. I just said that there is a difference between addiction and habit, and that the subject of the article, as well as many anti-marijuana advocates, confuse the two.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Just because you support legalization of marijuana doesn't mean you need to commit the same fallacious thinking as prohibitionists. Don't dismiss evidence contrary to your belief simply because it doesn't help your point. Marijuana use has consequences for some. That's just a fact. You're less likely to encounter those negative consequences with marijuana than with most other drugs, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. When we legalize marijuana we're going to have to mediate it's negative effects just like with other drugs.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

It is absurd to continue to punish someone for something they already &quot;paid their debt to society.&quot; To continue to hammer away at someone because they did something as innocuous as that for 5, 10, 15 years AFTER they competed their sentence is wrong as it gets! As they Mayor said -- society today is continuing to punish people long after they correct the wrongs they did -- we all have made mistakes. The GREAT thing about America is we love 2nd chances. We love a comeback. We cannot continue this ill-conceived prohibition on Marijuana that not only has no victim, it has medical properties that help people. This brings us to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act -- the people voted. It is the Law. I for one am glad to see in Ann Arbor, unlike other communities (like Oakland County) we have managed it, do not interfere with it as long as compliance with the law is observed, and the Ann Arbor area is better for it, and the economic advantages is helping create JOBS, generate taxes for the City and County, and sick people are being helped. Ann Arbor is a great community of tolerance. It is too bad that in the Article's subject, that 15 years later his error this man made is being still used against him -- he is not being forgiven and let him move on and become productive member of the community. I will support him.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Marijuana may be a habit for some people, but it's not addictive. If it was, 90 percent of the people I used to smoke it with every day back in college would not have gotten bored with it and gradually gave it up. Including me. A few of them might smoke it on occasion, but it doesn't send them back into a heavy use pattern, which - as anyone who's tried to give up cigarettes, alcohol or heroin can tell you - is a hallmark of an addiction.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

There goes any hope for positive revenue from allowing these dispensaries and &quot;care givers&quot;. May as well be handing out Twinkies to the &quot;patients&quot; and then sending them to Weight Watchers next door on the taxpayers dime. Try to get anything productive done while high.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

I get productive things done while medicated every day. I earned a 3.3 at an elite liberal arts school and a 4.0 at a public university while medicated. I filed my taxes medicated. Just the other day I changed out a headlight fixture and my oil while medicated. Today I'm writing a letter to the editor of this paper... and I'll be doing that medicated. Maybe it will run and you can see for yourself how productive one can be under the influence of cannabis.

Atticus F.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Cannabis is less addictive than nicotine, so maybe they should also form a tobacco anonymous as well. Although I'm sure like with AA, the meetings are jam packed with people who who are chain smoking Marlboros, while at the same time turning their noses at people who use other substances. You should also note that most of these MA organizations survive on people being court ordered against their will to attent. I also believe that these meetings are an attempt for people to blame their own bad behavior on on something else. They've been blaming other people for their problems their entire life, and now are looking for another conveinient scapegoat.

Atticus F.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

Robert, yes I have been to an AA meeting. I was court ordered to go as a juvenile for simply experimenting with alcohol. And one thing I can note, is I kept seeing the same needy personalities over and over. People looking for group reassurance every time they repeated an AA slogan. Dont get me wrong, I know drug addiction and alcoholism are diseases, and I hope everybody struggling whith addiction is able to live their lives in peace. But I get the sense there is a cult like atmosphere in some of these groups.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

Have you ever been to an AA or NA meeting? They don't blame others or substances for their behavior. It's part of the program to accept your role in creating your situation.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

This guy is looking for an excuse for his behavior. Pot is NOT addictive medically. I place this addiction in the same boat as food addiction or sex addiction. True addicts never can use the item they are addicted to. I have yet to hear somebody say a food or sex addict should never partake again. This guy has switched his compulsion (not addiction) into a new one. Proving to others he has stopped using. Here is his &quot;rock bottom&quot; ; &quot;He drove across the country with suitcases full of pot, put his family in dangerous situations and skipped a friend's wedding &quot; WOW, he drove cross country? He missed a wedding? The danger from marijuana is only the fact it is illegal.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

Zebra - you are absolutely correct and I should not have used the word false. A persons who smokes pot is causing a real feeling of euphoria by creating more dopamine in their brain.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

Gorc - there is no such thing as a &quot;false feeling of euphoria.&quot; You either feel euphoric or you don't. Calling it a &quot;false feeling&quot; is simply an attempt by marijuana oppoents to deligitimize the very real enjoyment users obtain. Do people get a false sense of relaxation from a glass of wine? How about more hazardous behavior? Does someone get a false feeling of euphoria from driving a motorcycle at 120 mph? Skiing down a mountain pitch that would give Warren Miller the chills? Both are far more hazardous than smoking a little weed, but I doubt anyone would say the feeling of euphoria they provide is a false one.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

&quot;Pot is NOT additive medically&quot; Marijuana, like any other mind altering drug causes chemical reactions in the brain that give a false feeling of euphoria. This feeling of happiness can cause a person to want and/or need more of their drug of choice, including weed. This post, just like many of your others, illustrates your lack of perspective.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

Marijuana can be mentally additive for some and not others, depending on their need for dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that gives a person a feeling of happiness or joy. As they smoke more and more, their brain counters and does not transmit as much dopamine as when they first began getting high. This causes the person to smoke more and more just to feel normal, not just to get a buzz anymore. A small percentage of people are predisposed to becoming addicted to pot. And because it's a small percentage...this creates an argument of whether pot is additive or not.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Why not pull out your medical degree? The only people who agree with you are anti-marijuana zealots. I guess I enjoy ice cream and it gives me a sense of euphoria. I am an addict oh no. I guess I need a twelve step. Its a cop out. Alcohol is PHYSICALLY addictive. Tell you what. Spend a day with a person in DT's or coming off LEGAL prescription drugs like Oxy or vicodin and then a person coming off pot and we can discuss addiction. Until then, get educated. he fails in his duty to take responsibility for his actions. The main tenant of AA is to say it is beyond their control and they have to &quot;give in to a higher power&quot; . It is destructive and a major fail for people who use their BRAINS.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Marijuana is a harmless drug. You're just weak if you can't control yourself. It doesn't mean everyone else shouldn't smoke it. Think of all the tax revenues we'll be collecting. Plus there will be more liberal millionares who will donate lots of money to charitable organizations (not ). All of you who voted to legalize marijuana will be the last to fix the mess that is coming. We're going to need more marijuana anonymous locations including in the schools so it's good they're getting established.

John B.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Alcohol is a harmless drug. You're just weak if you can't control yourself. It doesn't mean everyone else shouldn't drink it. Think of all the tax revenues we'll be collecting. Plus there will be more conservative millionares who will donate lots of money to charitable organizations (not ). All of you who voted to legalize alcohol will be the last to fix the mess that is coming. We're going to need more alcoholics anonymous locations including in the schools so it's good they're getting established.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

People can be addicted to anything. Has anyone ever watched one of those hoarders show? If you think pot should be banned because of people getting addicted, then you'd better ban garage sales, too.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Pot &quot;addicts&quot;?? I'm rolling on the floor laughing!


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

Maybe all the potheads trying to use a &quot;medical&quot; excuse to buy and smoke weed can join this group!!!!


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

Unfortunately, we all know (wink wink) they are soooooo physically incapacitated by their awful lifethreatening diseases that they would be unable to leave their deathbeds to attend the meetings.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

My belief is that certain personalities can become addicted (obsessed) by just about anything that can be ingested by the mind or body. Mental illnesses are just that, an illness of the mind that may make an individual believe that they cannot live without their particular obsession. Cigarettes, alcohol, pot, food, you name it and there can be an overwhelming need for it to some. I am glad to see those people who recognize their own shortcomings and take the steps necessary to rid themselves of their problem. What better way than one of finding those with like problems to help them on their way. How many X Anonymous programs are out there now offering help?


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

And to think the liberal establishment wants to legalize this harmless drug, anyone who thinks marijuana can't screw up your life should attend some of these meetings so they can get a reality check. &quot;Being an addict is a crazy state of mind," he said. "I did a lot of stupid stuff and to think just smoking once in a while makes you any wiser?


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

yeah, it was the evil liberals and their awful marijuana laws. His problems had nothing to do with the crack he was smoking.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

Oops, should have been this: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Actually, the reality is that it is not only the &quot;liberal establishment&quot; that wants to decriminalize a plant. Libertarians are at the forefront of the movement, and are joined by a growing number of police groups and judges. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> There are a plethora of things out there that can &quot;screw up your life&quot;: soda pop (diabetes), cigarettes (cancer, lost time), Big Macs (obesity), the internet, pornography, Warcraft, harassing the UM Student President because he is gay. There is even a TV add for Visa that tells the story of one man that has missed weddings and births because he would rather go to a Super Bowl. Is it your contention, WALKER, as a &quot;conservative&quot; that all of these things should be regulated in the same manner as MJ, an outright ban? Or, is it just easier to blame &quot;the left&quot; for our societal ills?


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

I'm browsing the internet right now. It isn't doing me any harm. Despite that fact, there are thousands of people suffering from debilitating internet addictions that consume their entire existences. Should I attend an internet addiction meeting to &quot;get a reality check?&quot; Should I blame liberals for convincing me that the internet is ok to use?

Max Peters

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

Wait a second... You mean to tell me that pot is addictive!? I thought the fact that it isn't was one of the reasons to legalize medical marijuana.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

It's not physically addictive... that is to say that the body does not become chemically dependent. Some would argue with that statement, but no one would dare compare the effects of discontinuing pot to discontinuing alcohol, tobacco, cocaine or heroin.