For years, marijuana advocates and users have claimed that it is not physically addictive in the way that nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs are. But recently, an Australian study found that it's entirely possible for marijuana users to become physically addicted.
Researchers studied a group of over 50 regular marijuana users, who were given instructions to quit using the drug for two weeks. They found many of the users suffered from withdrawal symptoms that actually interrupted their daily lives. According to co-author Alan J. Budney, the withdrawal is “very similar to what people experience with tobacco...it makes you irritable. It makes you restless. It makes it hard to sleep.” Heavy users were more likely to have worse symptoms, and many went back to smoking when the study was complete.
While symptoms such as irritability, trouble sleeping, and restlessness may not be life-threatening, this proves that marijuana has some physically addictive qualities to it. If a regular user wants to quit smoking pot, they may be deterred by the negative side effects they will experience if they stop, thus making it more likely to be addictive.
According to the CDC, as of 2009, 7% of Americans over the age of 12 used marijuana. Sources say most people believe it is not very addictive, therefore its use is not bad. There have been links to marijuana and adverse health effects, such as increased bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer, and testicular cancer. However, there is still a widespread debate on whether the drug itself is dangerous or harmless.