The Baton Rouge Advocate doesn’t seem to care much about reality. Reporter Ellyn Couvillion’s post today on an ongoing study at Louisiana State University today claims a link between anxiety and “marijuana addiction” when there is no actual link whatsoever.
Frankly, the “study” lost us when it claimed that there are 4.5 million people in the U.S. “addicted” to marijuana. Someone should tell the researchers that they can’t really establish credibility after completely blowing it out of the water from the start.
See, the study the blogger is misquoting actually says of the estimated 7.1 million people “dependent on or abusing illicit drugs,” an estimated 4.5 are pot smokers.
The catch here is that ANY marijuana use is deemed abuse by the federal government. That means even people who took a single toke off a joint are considered drug abusers as far as the study is concerned. In short: this purely speculative data has very little to do with reality.
Also, last we checked 4.5 million is nowhere near equal to 7.1 million, so how the author was able to say that “the number of people addicted to marijuana is almost as large as the number of people who struggle with addiction to all other illicit substances combined” is beyond us.
|A tiny photo of Julia Buckner.
But lets move on. The author quotes the head of the LSU study (and likely culprit as the source for all of this bunk data), Julia Buckner. According to her, because a subset of the general population suffers from anxiety, a subset of the 4.5 million people who “abuse” marijuana must also have anxiety disorders.
“People with anxiety disorders have much, much higher rates (of addiction) than you would expect,” Buckner said. “We’re not judging the fact that they use (but looking at) what about their (marijuana) use is causing them problems and how can we help them avoid that. It interferes with people going to work,” said Buckner. They don’t have the motivation to go to work or to go to class.”
No, Julia, you’re judging them for the fact that they use. It’s the premise of why you’ve singled out that population for your bunk, federal taxpayer-funded study on your state-taxpayer salary at the state U. Not only that, but you’re using tired stoner clichés to justify it all. Here’s a hint: marijuana doesn’t make people lazy, they were lazy to begin with. Despite the outlandish claims so far, Buckner hasn’t actually completed the study. In fact, she’s still searching for pot-smoking participants between the age of 18 and 65 who want to quit. Keep in mind, this study is going on in Louisiana where marijuana is COMPLETELY illegal even for medical purposes. You’re already starting with people who feel guilty about breaking the laws.
And even once the study gets going, it isn’t actually doing anything scientific. The participants meet in AA-like sessions for about 12 weeks led by graduate students. The groups talk about alternative ways of dealing with anxiety instead of lighting up a joint.
Near the end of the article, the real motivation comes out though. It seems that Buckner and pals are writing a treatment manual they hope to eventually publish (and no doubt sell to people they’ve scammed into believing they are addicted to cannabis).
If you’d like to contact the researchers, you can call the LSU Anxiety and Addictive Behaviors Clinic at 225-578-5778 or email them at [email protected]