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Calls to legalize marijuana spark concerns at Lancaster County addiction treatment center

PENNSYLVANIA – With Governor Tom Wolf’s supportive stance to legalize marijuana, some addiction centers remain cautious. It’s a bit of a scary...

PENNSYLVANIA - With Governor Tom Wolf's supportive stance to legalize marijuana, some addiction centers remain cautious. It's a bit of a scary thought for some people in substance abuse recovery. They believe legalization of the drug may open a can of worms.

“People may think, ‘now that it’s legal I might be able to do it, I might be able to experiment with it,'" said Maggie Hunt, who works in business development at Retreat Behavioral Health in Lancaster County.

Hunt is a recovering addict. She's been sober for 10 years, and says it was experimenting with alcohol and marijuana which led her to use other drugs.

“It definitely opens the door," said Hunt. "Definitely makes your mind think, ‘if you feel this way from this substance when you combine these substances or do something else,' you definitely can have a different effect.”

Along with Hunt, Dr. Kristi Dively, a medical director at Retreat, is also apprehensive.

“I think legalizing recreational marijuana is a mistake," said Dr. Dively.

Dively believes more research needs to be done to understand why some people become addicted to substances and their role in psychotic disorders before marijuana, which she says 10 percent of users become addicted to, becomes legalized.

“I hope that they don’t just listen to what quote unquote “the people” want and not do their research," said Dr. Dively.

Dr. Dively and Hunt do say they are in support of decriminalizing marijuana.