Louisiana Sherriff Anti-marijuana Myths

Editor’s note: Amid discussion about the potential legalization of medical marijuana in Louisiana, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz has offered his perspective in this column. This is the latest of a series of his articles on the subject.

Myth 1: ‘I can’t become addicted to marijuana’

Marijuana may not be as addictive as tobacco or heroin, but 1 in every 6 teens, (and 1 in every 11 adults) who ever try marijuana will become addicted to it. Just as with alcohol and tobacco, most chronic marijuana users who attempt to stop “cold turkey” will experience an array of withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and/or cravings. These are classic signs of dependency.

Marijuana is about as addictive as alcohol. Teens are particularly vulnerable to addiction, since their brains are being primed and are under rapid development until age 25. So it’s no surprise that more young...

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