Pubdate: Fri, 9 Oct 1998
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Contact:  : 01603 628311
Author : Alun Buffry


Carl Clark, in his letter "Cannabis is a sad way to happiness"
(Evening News October 2), seems to be confusing the repetition of
something enjoyable with addiction.

Mr Clark is correct when he says that "Cannabis helps you relax and is

Much the same as a pleasant meal and a warm fire shared by loved ones.
 That is a long way from addiction.

The true signs of addiction are the withdrawal symptoms from
abstinence.  Mr Clark should consult some of the "lot of people' whom
he knows that have gone on to harder drugs, about addiction and withdrawal.

Mr Clark said that many of his friends say they "can't wait until
their next joint" - a commonly-used expression when one is looking
forward to something pleasant.

"I can't wait until the weekend".  That is not addiction by any
stretch of the imagination.

The reality is that they do 'wait'.  The difference is that they do
not tremble and quake and go into the agonising pains experienced by
heroin addicts or alcoholics.

The psychological 'cravings' of cannabis smokers is nothing like the
physical cravings suffered by smokers of that dreadfully dangerous
legal plant - tobacco.

Whilst it is clear that many cannabis smokers become dependent on
cannabis to ease their sufferings, relieve their stress, or simply
lift them up out of the 'sad' lives which Mr Clark attributes to them,
that is a long-way from real addiction.

It is certainly no reason to lock them up, or even to lock up the

Yours sincerely,

A. Buffry
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Checked-by: Patrick Henry