Dear Lady Gaga: YOU SUCK

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I mean, seriously girlfriend, “addicted” to marijuana? Really? Is that the word you meant to use?

Marijuana is not physically addictive – even prohibitionists with half a clue are willing to admit that. Sure, you might enjoy smoking and get a little irritable if you stop, but that’s not addiction. Not at all.

Lady Obtuse

Fucked with Mary Jane to get relief and then threw her out like trash.

According to a 1999 Federal Institute of Medicine study, about 9% of marijuana users will develop some degree of dependency. Notice that they call it dependency and not addiction, because that’s what it is – it’s psychological dependency, not physical dependency, and there’s a big difference.

Have you ever been dope-sick from heroin? I’m betting you have. That doesn’t happen with marijuana. When you paint addiction with a broad brush, you are not only doing a disservice to real addicts, who can literally die from alcohol or complications of opiate withdrawal, you are also playing into the hands of desperate prohibitionists who will seize any opportunity to de-legitimize marijuana’s medicinal use. And really, you need to chill out and realize that medical cannabis has changed a lot of people’s lives for the better.

You say you were using marijuana to help you with pain from your hip injury, right? I bet it worked pretty well, and it also had some pleasant side effects like mild euphoria and a sense of well-being. If you’d taken prescription pharmaceuticals to deal with your injury, your side effects could have included depression, exhaustion, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, coma, and death. Sounds awesome, right? What a great service you have done by making it seem like marijuana should be put in the same class as drugs that are actually dangerous.

Gaga Smoking

Most cool people don’t need an audience to puff tough.

So you realized you were self-medicating? No shit, girl. That’s what people often do when they’re in pain. In my view, self-medication can take many forms: drugs, food, alcohol, sex…You do what you can to make yourself feel better. Of all the ways to self-medicate, marijuana is pretty damn benign.

You say you used it to help you cope? Not surprising, as marijuana has pretty amazing power as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety remedy. Veterans with PTSD use it to cope too, and researchers believe that when they use it, they are a lot less likely to do things like attempt suicide. No big deal or anything, right? You could have used prescription antidepressants to help you cope instead. I’m not going to bother listing all the nasty side effects of those, but “suicidal thoughts” is one of them. Also, unlike marijuana, prescription anti-anxiety meds are actually physically addictive.

But perhaps my biggest bone to pick with you is this: as a rich, famous, white woman you were in a unique position to flaunt your marijuana use without fear of arrest or incarceration. Remember when you dressed up as the “High Queen of Cannabis” for Halloween? I do. Good times, right?

You should know, though, that all of us “regular folks” on the front lines of cannabis reform risk our freedom every time we speak out about our use.

Gaga Tongue

Mary Jane? More like Mary Lame. Cannabis is too cool for the likes of Gaga.

Have you heard about how marijuana can stop kids from having seizures? Did you know that a lot of parents are breaking the law to treat their epileptic kids with cannabis? They live in fear every day, fear that they will be arrested or that their kids will be taken away. They want to treat their kids with marijuana not just because it works, but also because it does not create physical dependency like all those other medications prescribed for epilepsy.

For patients, it’s not marijuana that’s dangerous, it’s those damn laws against it that cause real issues. It’s not just a pot-queen-costume game for all of us.

But hey, marijuana absolutely ruined your life, right? You’re a recovering addict, right? You want to spread the word about your marijuana addiction. You want to warn kids about the dangers. Go ahead, do your thing, girl. Just don’t be shocked when you get called out on your bullshit about “addiction.”

Fortunately for those of us whose lives have been enriched by marijuana, it seems that public opinion isn’t on your side in this case. From the media reports I’ve read, as well as the responses from readers, common sense talk about “marijuana addiction” is prevailing. Even Time Magazine, a pretty mainstream deal, has pointed out the difference between physical addiction and psychological dependency.

So as much as I think you suck, I’m guessing your poor word choices are more likely to be harmful to your career than to the cannabis reform movement.

The tides have turned, Lady Gaga, and you, my dear, have missed the wave.