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NIDA Monkey Study Claims Marijuana Is Addictive

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October 19, 2000

Baltimore, MD: A National Institute of Drug Abuse study released this week claimed marijuana "has the same potential for abuse as other drugs such as heroin and cocaine."

"That is an absurd claim," said Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Emeritus Professor at Harvard Medical School. "Any research which lends support to such an unrealistic view that defies clinical experience must be suspect."

The doctors experimented with four squirrel monkeys by training them to self-administer shots of intravenous cocaine supplied through a catheter by pressing a lever 10 times after seeing a green light. The cocaine solution was then substituted with a saline solution and the monkeys stopped pressing the lever. The saline solution was then substituted with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the monkeys resumed pressing the lever. From those actions, the doctors conducting the study conclude that marijuana is "addictive."

"To me it is a methodologically questionable procedure to start the
squirrel monkeys on cocaine and then move them to THC," Dr. Grinspoon said. "They may be dealing with the effects of the monkey's involvement with cocaine. It certainly complicates what they say happened."

For more information, please contact Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Emeritus
Professor at Harvard Medical School at
(781) 235-1368.

NORML Foundation
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