Pubdate: Fri, 04 Sep 1998
Date: 04/09/1998
Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)
Author: Matthew M. Elrod

Both the Record and Dr. Alan Lesher seem to have misinterpreted the
findings of Dr. Thomas Crowley of the University of Colorado in the
April 3 article, Pot Addictive For Troubled Teenagers.

When we learn that two thirds of teens "referred" to treatment centres
for cannabis dependence report symptoms of dependance, the first
question that comes to mind is, why only two thirds?

A survey of compulsive gamblers in treatment for gambling should
report that all of them are dependent on gambling.

Similarly, a survey of patients in a weight-loss clinic should reveal
that all of them are clinically dependent on food. Could we safely
conclude that some people are suseptible to compulsive disorders and
the best place to find them is in a weight-loss clinic?

In reality, less than five per cent of cannabis users become dependent
on the herb. I suspect many non-dependent cannabis users are accepting
treatment in lieu of punishment.

Matthew M. Elrod
Victoria, B.C.