'Reefer Madness' Redux, Is Pot Addictive?

Hard to Lick Because of Societal Views

Though Roffman favors decriminalization, he struggles to help those who are dependent on marijuana, largely because societal views lead them to "wonder if they are over-exaggerating the harm to themselves."

About 15 percent to 20 percent of those being treated for dependency in cognitive behavioral therapy or 12-step programs are able to quit and some are able to cut back, more than half "don't do very well," according to Roffman. "There's not that high a success rate."

He argues that the reform movement makes a "tragic mistake" to convince the public that marijuana is relatively harmless.

"They are not being accurate scientists and it can make a difference for those making choices about smoking," said Roffman, especially young people who are the greatest risk for "derailing" their lives.

Meanwhile, Vicki said her own children, now 11 and 15, have seen first-hand the risks of marijuana dependency. "They are very much a part of my recovery and they come to meetings. But, thank God, they don't remember me high at all."

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