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Categorizing Marijuana

April 4, 2008
by Gary Enos
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In interviewing an anti-drug coalition leader in Florida today, I was struck again by how various segments of society and this field perceive marijuana vis-a-vis other illegal drugs. This coordinator was telling me that in his large metropolitan community, marijuana has become as intertwined with violence as cocaine and other illegal drugs have been. As the price and potency of the drug have increased over the past couple of years, "They're willing to kill for it," this community leader said of the "bad guys." Another perspective to consider as we see an outpouring of response to our latest Web poll question, on how marijuana decriminalization would affect treatment.



Sounds like the anti-drug coalition leader in Florida hasn't been told that the "Miami Vice" TV Series has been canceled, but can pick up a DVD Box Set. The issue with Marijuana is that it's infested with Mega opinions, politics, laws among others and that it can't avoid but to provoke the "Perfect Social Strorm". Take California for instance. The state approved it for medical purposes only to be abused by Doctors prescribing it to anyone that would come to their offices and request it for any reason under the sun. Then you had the Feds raiding and arresting individuals and groups of A.I.D.S patients. The state legalized it, but the Feds didn't, and they rule the land. Professionals in our field too many times can't and won't see further than their pre-conditioned concepts. In NA you can't accumalate Clean Time if you are on Methadone, smoke weed medically approved or not. Mentally Ill Addicts have started groups called "Double Trouble" in many states due to their intake of daily needed medication and rejection of NA groups. In New Jersey the D.E.A. would raid Elizabeth Seaport and confiscate record breaking amounts of Marijuana in a highly skilled operation. Only problem was that said raids ocurred more often during an electorial year for Mayor of the City of Elizabeth. What the Mental Midget in Florida doesn't seem to get is that criminals that are involved in Drug Traffic, Prostitution, and
Murder happen to smoke marijuana. Marijuana didn't provoke their participation in "High End Organized Crime". The use and sale of marijuana has a "Mikey Mouse" status both in treatment and socially. Before the thought escapes me, then there are the Chemical Abuse Pros. that only add more wood to the bonfire because it's a safe subject matter that only demands a NO on our part. Marijuana came of age in the 60s, and now it's 2008 and we're still behaving and thinking like the characters in the Cult Film "Marijuana, The Evil Weed". I'm sure we all know people that are professionals, great parents, good citizens, contribute to society and smoke marijuana. it's apparant that they can, but I personally can't and havn't, because it will provoke my return to HEROIN. That's why I've been clean for over 37 years and have been an Addiction Speacialist for 35. Regarding legalizing Marijuana or not, opinions regarding the subject and all the complex issues spinning around my point of view is simple "..change the things that I can and accept those that I CAN'T".

Is it really helpful to view people with serious substance dependencies as "bad"?

Gary Enos


Gary Enos

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He also...

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