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Should medical marijuana be legal?
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Risk for abuse or addiction

Governments should not legalize a substance which people may get addicted to.
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The Argument

Evidence indicates that long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction.[1] Approximately 9% of those who medically use marijuana will become addicted. The number goes up to about 1 in 6 among those who use it as teenagers and to 25 to 50% among those who use it marijuana daily. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 2.7 million people 12 years of age and older met the criteria for dependence on marijuana. Also, there is recognition of cannabis withdrawal syndrome (with symptoms that include irritability, sleeping difficulties, dysphoria, craving, and anxiety), which makes stopping difficult and contributes to relapse. Early and regular medical marijuana use predicts an increased risk of addiction. In turn, it predicts an increased risk of the use of other illicit drugs to relieve the pain if medical marijuana is unobtainable. As compared with persons who begin to use marijuana in adulthood, those who begin in adolescence are approximately 2 to 4 times as likely to have symptoms of cannabis dependence within the 2 years after first use.[2]

Counter arguments

For some users, perhaps as many as 10 per cent, cannabis leads to psychological dependence, but there is scant evidence that it carries a risk of true addiction. Unlike cigarette smokers, most users do not take the drug on a daily basis, and usually abandon it in their twenties or thirties. Unlike for nicotine, alcohol and hard drugs, there is no clearly defined withdrawal syndrome, the hallmark of true addiction, when use is stopped.


[P1] There is a risk of marijuana addiction; nearly 9% of medical users end up abusing it.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There is no true addiction to marijuana.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 11:42 UTC

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