With many drug crimes, the root of the problem is actually a medical condition known as addiction. Someone who gets hooked on painkillers may know that it’s illegal to keep buying them and abusing them, but they can’t stop without medical intervention, no matter how badly they want to. Someone who drives while intoxicated may know that it’s dangerous but may struggle with alcohol addiction to the point that they are almost always slightly intoxicated. Again, what they need is medical assistance to overcome the addiction.
But what about marijuana? It’s been a popular drug with college students and many others for decades. Does it create the same issues? Could you get addicted to it and find yourself facing criminal charges for a habit you have no way to break?
Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it can become addictive in severe cases. This is a somewhat controversial opinion to some, but they have studied it and found levels of dependency that bring with them withdrawal symptoms. They claim that roughly 9% of users are predicted to suffer from this type of dependency. There is a bit of a difference between dependency and addiction, but they note that people who use marijuana often and then are forced to go without often have cravings for it, feel more irritable and have physical discomfort.
In many cases, the officials will refer to this as marijuana use disorder, rather than addiction.
Regardless of how you define it, this suggests that marijuana use could push people to make decisions they would not make if they were not dependent on the drug. Those who get arrested as a result may need medical intervention and definitely need to know about all of the legal options they have.