The question is, is dagga addictive – “legalizationists” say no - the answer is yes!
People begin to depend on the stimulation to the brain that dagga provides and then continue to use it even when it begins to impact their lives negatively (the classic definition of an addict). Here’s the evidence courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
It is estimated that 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it.10,11 The number goes up to about 17 percent in those who start using young (in their teens) and to 25 to 50 percent among daily users.12,13 According to the 2013 NSDUH, marijuana accounted for 4.2 million of the estimated 6.9 million Americans dependent on or abusing illicit drugs.3
Marijuana addiction is linked to a mild withdrawal syndrome. Frequent marijuana users often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks.14,15
Over 96% of the ex dagga smokers interviewed by CYPSA is a recent survey indicated that dagga is an addictive substance and that they themselves were dagga addicts (straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak). The vast majority even admitted to having stolen money to fund their habit!
All indicated that they continued to smoke dagga even after a combination of several negative consequences manifested in their lives.
Dependence on a substance, withdrawal symptoms, continued use despite negative consequences and resorting to theft to fund a habit.
This sounds like addiction to us!
The fact that a minority group of individuals are seeking to have an illegal drug made legal by changing the law and constitution of an entire nation, and despite strong opposition and evidence of the substances dangers from many quarters, is of itself an indication of the powerful addiction that they themselves are slaves to. Rather these extremes than part with their drug of choice!
It would be madness for us as South Africans to even consider legalizing this dangerously addictive drug. CYPSA says NO to the legalization of dagga in South Africa.