(WASHINGTON, DC) — Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the nation’s leading drug policy organization focused on protecting Americans from the addiction industry, released the following statement in reaction to the release of a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network of data from nearly 1,500 primary care patients in Washington State, where marijuana and THC drugs produced from marijuana are legal, that showed more than 20 percent of all users of the drug has Marijuana Use Disorder. These findings are consistent with other past research showing marijuana dependence as high as 30 percent among people who have used in the past year.

“The marijuana industry has told people for years that their drugs were non-addictive, safe, medicine and even recreation, but that has again been proven a lie parroted for profit. A 21 percent rate for addiction means millions of Americans are now suffering from Marijuana Use Disorder, which has a range of physical, psychological and economic implications. The study found that those with more severe symptoms were so-called recreational users or more frequent users of the drug. Medical studies have previously confirmed the connected between THC drug use and depression, suicidality, psychosis, schizophrenia and IQ loss. This new study from Washington State confirms that even mild addiction can have social and occupational consequences as well as result in impairment and emotional distress. The study proves that marijuana and THC drug users build up a tolerance and therefore increase frequency of use, which is exactly what the industry wants. 

“As the industry continues to lie to the public and politicians about their products and those products continue to get more potent, addiction rates will only continue to rise along with the damage done to millions of lives. It’s past time for policymakers and consumers to wake up to the fact that pot is addictive and dangerous whether it is legal where you live or not.”