That’s right, Coloradoans: Marijuana can be addictive, too, in the experience of Dr. Dan Caplin and Dr. William Plauth. “About 9 percent of people who use cannabis become habitual users, or get so-called addicted to it,” said Caplin. This is not a physiological addiction – you don’t go through withdrawal symptoms like you might with heroin or nicotine – but it is psychological.”
Counseling, abstinence and education can help. Marijuana is pretty safe, and no one really dies from it, but the jury’s still out on how it effects a developing brain. “It predisposes teenagers to developing certain psychological conditions later in life, like schizophrenia,” added Caplin. “They say a brain is developing until age 25.” Plauth’s impression is that people don’t take the use of marijuana as seriously as alcohol or other drugs, which has more to do with how it’s portrayed in the media and by many of its supporters, plus the fact that it has recently been legalized.