To the editors:

“When Doctors Are Addicts” [July 29] includes marijuana as one of the drugs to which doctors–and the rest of us–can become hooked.

Marijuana causes problems but addiction isn’t one of them. Just ask the Surgeon General. His recent report on tobacco charged that nicotine is as addictive as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. The omission of marijuana was not an oversight.

Paul Kuhn

N. Crilly

Laurence Gonzales replies:

As authorities on addiction know, it is not the substance but the person that matters.

Although marijuana does not produce classic symptoms of physical addiction, as heroin does, it is entirely possible–even common–for compulsive people to use marijuana as if they were addicted and to become impaired by it.