An interesting post on the Patients For Medical Cannabis site discusses Cannabis' use as an addiction treatment for opoids and alcohol. As well as providing a history of the drugs use as an addiction treatment, the article also provides links to recent research. For example, this study suggests that cannabis can reduce patients dependency on opiates, thus reducing the risk and discomfort of side effects associated with these drugs (constipation, nausea, depression).
The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
provides case studies backing up this study.
The blog post also notes that as far back as 1943, scientists were experimenting with cannabis as a treatment for opium addiction.
Some observations as to why cannabis is wrongly considered addictive are also touched on:
The most avid publicizers of marijuana’s addictive nature are treatment providers who, in recent years, have increasingly admitted insured marijuana users to their programs. The increasing use of drug-detection technologies in the workplace, schools and elsewhere has also produced a group of marijuana users who identify themselves as “addicts” in order to receive treatment instead of punishment...
A study conducted at Berkeley California shows promise for cannabis' role as a treatment for alcohol addiction: