Forbes Magazine says that about 1/3 of youthful pot smokers use marijuana to replace "legitimate" medicines because of side effects from the legal medicines or because pot is more effective.
Some teens are smoking marijuana not just for recreation but to self-medicate emotional problems, sleep difficulties and pain, a new study shows.The practice of medicine (take a pill) is essentially the dispensing of poisons that are hopefully selective and are not needed for long term control of a medical problem. Now we find a medicine that has no known lethal dose and whose side effects are mild (who ate the Dorritos?) and which can be sold for less than a tenth of a cent a dose. What are the companies who sell the poisons to do? They can become corporate sponsors of the Drug Free America Campaign. Abbot Labs is in for a over a half million. As are the Pharmaceutical Research &Manufacturers of America. There are many other such sponsors. And what do the drug company sponsors have in common? They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.
Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 63 adolescents who smoked marijuana regularly. About a third of the teens said they used the drug as a medication rather than as a means of getting high.
The findings appear in the April 22 issue of Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy.
The most common complaints were emotional problems, including depression, anxiety and stress, sleep difficulties, and problems with concentration and pain.
"Youth who reported they had been prescribed drugs such as Ritalin, Prozac or sleeping pills stopped using them because they did not like how these drugs made them feel or found them ineffective," the authors said in a news release from the journal publisher. "For these kids, the purpose of smoking marijuana was not specifically about getting high or stoned."
The teens' experiences with the medical system were uniformly negative, according to the study.