Marijuana has potential for misuse
- By: Abi Berger
Marijuana has the potential for misuse, according to a study from the United States. New evidence that monkeys self administer the active component of marijuana has been shown by Dr Steven Goldberg and his team at the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore (Nature Neuroscience 2000;3:1073–4).
One of the criteria used to help decide if a drug has the potential for misuse is whether animals will work to obtain it. This is known as self administration. Virtually all psychoactive drugs misused by humans, including nicotine, have been shown to be self administered by animals, but up to now a positive self administration test has been elusive whenever THC (delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol), the active part of marijuana, has been tested. This has led to some people concluding that marijuana is less likely to lead to drug misuse than other illegal substances.
Dr Goldberg, a pharmacologist at the National Institute of Drug Abuse,