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Updated: 6th January 2019 08:08

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Marijuana study seeks participants

A Calgary researcher is looking for participants for a study that will look at marijuana addiction and different methods of recovery.

A Calgary researcher is looking for participants for a study that will look at marijuana addiction and different methods of recovery.

Jonathan Stea, a PhD student at the University of Calgary will examine the idea of "Cannabis Dependence Disorder" and why certain people don’t develop a dependency to it.

"You know there are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding [marijuana’s] addictive properties and not a lot of scientific research has gone [in-depth] studying this topic," Stea said.

Stea and his team plan to recruit more than 100 participants who have not smoked marijuana in at least one year and attempt to understand the differences between those who quit on their own and others who had to seek outside help.

The study assumes the stance that people can become dependent on cannabis.

"We're actually looking to recruit individuals who have had a marijuana problem in the past and have overcome that problem," Stea said, "So we're really interested in investigating the recovery process."

The study might be a problem for marijuana users who don’t classify themselves as addicts.

Marijuana activist Keith Fagin approves of the research studies but hopes that it won’t hurt his cause.

Fagin has been using marijuana on and off for over 40 years and consistently for the last 12 but insists he is not addicted to it.

Fagin said he would smoke after coming home at night with "aches and pains" after working a very physical job at a drywall plant.

"I’d sit down to watch the news and I’d spark up a joint and halfway through my joint like this, I am feeling very comfortable."

He insisted that he is not addicted.

"If I was dependent on say heroin or crack cocaine or some such thing I would have the physical need to go out and steal […] because of the physical-ness of it but with cannabis, a psychological dependency for a few [is] possible."

Stea is counting on that psychological possibility as he launches his study which will take over a year to complete.

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