Rehab rates with cannabis legalization
Rehab rates with cannabis legalization

Cannabis Legalization Does Not Increase Drug Rehab Admission Rates Says New Study

People were not going to drug rehab centers at a higher rate after cannabis legalization

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Thursday Apr 28, 2022

no rehab with legalization

I feel that this week I was given gifts by the internet gods. Why? Because once again, another Cannabis-Myth was busted by science and perhaps as the scientific body of work continues to crush the feeble lies of prohibition – we may once rid ourselves from these oppressive policies.


In today’s article we’ll be taking a closer look at adult cannabis use and admissions to substance abuse treatment centers post legalization.


A recent study found that there was virtually no difference before and after legalization, meaning the “if you make it more accessible, more people will get hooked!” myth is proven to be inaccurate. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who are addicted to cannabis – it simply means that people seeking assistance to kick the habit hasn’t changed.


The people who have a problem with cannabis still go to these centers to help them kick their addictive habit, but this isn’t to say that “because of cannabis” they are addicted. In all likeliness, they have an addictive personality or some deep internal need that isn’t being addressed properly and cannabis is being used as a “soul patch” for the internal pain they suffer.


Nonetheless, it is good to see mainstream science get on board with what cannabis activates have been clamoring for decades.


Before we continue, let’s take a closer look at what the study actually said;


Does Legalization Matter in the fight against Substance Abuse?


The study, which was titled, Admissions to substance use treatment facilities for cannabis use disorder, 2000–2017: Does legalization matter?” This study looked at whether or not there was any significant change in “substance abuse center admissions” over the period of 17-years.


In the paper – accessible here – explains in its methods;

(so the readers don’t email me about where I come up with this stuff @_@ )


Data from the Treatment Episode Data Set-Admissions were used to examine the relationship between marijuana-related admissions among adults aged ≥18 by year and legalization status (i.e., fully legalized, medical use only [partially legalized], and illegal) (N = 35,457,854). Using interaction analyses, we further examined whether certain patient characteristics were associated with residence in states that legalized marijuana use as compared to those in which marijuana remained illegal.


In other words, the researchers compared data in different categorization of legalization. From fully prohibited to fully legalized, they analyzed a population of about 35 and a half million people in the United States that live in those conditions.


In their Results section they wrote;


Overall, the proportion of marijuana-related admissions in states with legalization decreased by 2.3% from 31.7% in 2000–2005 to 29.4% in 2012–2017 (odds ratio [OR], 0.90; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.89–0.90) with little difference from states where marijuana use remained illegal, in which marijuana use as any reason for admissions decreased by 0.3% from 39.8% in 2000–2005 to 39.5% in 2012–2017 (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98–0.99). We did not find any striking patient characteristics (e.g., referral by the police) associated with admissions in states that legalized compared to those that had not.


In other words, since legalization has occurred, there has been a decrease in admission. Does this mean that fewer people struggle with marijuana addiction post-legalization, or does this hint towards “conflated numbers” due to a political maneuver that generates significance due to the policies on drugs.


As one Reddit User commented;


I mean probably because nobody goes to marijuana substance abuse treatment unless it's mandated by the court...

Tato7069 - Reddit


Which is exactly what happens in many instances when looking at substance abuse treatment admissions for cannabis. There’s a large number of people that prefer to go to a “Court Mandated Treatment Program” for weed, than to serve jail time.


Think about it, it’s the lesser of two evils – but only for the person caught with weed. For the system as a whole, it’s a money cow that creates “statistics of admission” which justifies its reason for existing. Seeing that many of these facilities receive funds from the State or the Feds, keeping the status quo is good for business.


But when legalization happens, they no longer have a justifiable reason to force someone to go to rehab without their consent. After all, when it’s no longer a criminal act to smoke weed – the courts can’t mandate anything…unless of course you commit a crime while smoking weed in which the court can totally mandate you against your will.


Nonetheless, legalization has chipped away at the yearly admissions by roughly 2.3 % but interestingly enough, prohibition states also saw a 0.3% dip in admissions. The difference seems so minimal that the title of the study makes sense….”Does legalization matter?”


If Heroin was legal tomorrow…would you try it?


This is a question I frequently ask people who are against drug legalization. They call me crazy for suggesting that we should remove all criminality around drug use and legalize all drugs, make it available to all adults, and educate people on responsible use.


I even have a complete overhaul on how to reduce the harm of drug use and essentially put all the cartels out of business.


But first, let me ask you the question, “If heroin was legal tomorrow…would you take it?” What about crack? Crocodile? PCP?


In all likeliness, you probably said no to most of them if not all of the drugs I mentioned. How about LSD? Psilocybin? DMT?


Perhaps more of you raised your hands, while others completely still shunned any and all drug use. Do you see how you could make a rational decision to assess your own risk towards a particular experience? This is something that every single adult has the power to do…we do it every single day when we drive, when we work with power tools, when we decide to go sky diving.


We assess the potential danger of any given situation and decide whether the risk is worth the rewards or not. For most people, the idea of doing heroin, crack or, PCP, or fentanyl…seems too risky and while the rewards might be significant, the risk outweighs the rewards.


Here’s the kicker – conversely, the people who said, “If heroin was legal tomorrow I would do it…” probably is already doing heroin because their desire to consume heroin is already present. Dr. Carl Hart takes heroin recreationally in small doses – and he claims not to be addicted.


He could be telling the truth. I wouldn’t know.


But what I do know is from personal experience, I have snorted a fair share of cocaine at certain points during my life. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself on a few of those trips…and when I was done with the experience I had no inclination to consume more any time soon.


The point I’m trying to make is that each individual understands their own risk-reward decision making process and if they have decided that “consuming heroin” is worth the risk – a feeble law would do very little to deter them from using it.


The question however should be, who gets to decide what is good for you and what is bad for you? Bodily autonomy means that you have the right to choose to consume whatever you want, even if it is bad for you…you know…like alcohol and tobacco.


And this is where we’ll leave it for now…do you think you have the ability to decide for yourself what experience is risky and what experience isn’t? Shouldn’t you be allowed to choose what you can and cannot put into your body?


If you don’t own your body? Then what are you?








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