For the U.S., marijuana is more than just a drug. Affinity toward the drug owing to its supposed medicinal effects and lack of information about its potential hazards had turned it into a major cause of disagreement among political rivals during the presidential elections in 2016. Democratic Party members expounding their views in favor of legalizing marijuana use acquired seats in eight states that had validated the use of weed for medical or recreational purposes.
While the marijuana industry continues to grow in many states across the nation, a federal crackdown under the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions may result in grouping and classification of weed in the same category in which heroin, a dangerous drug, falls.
Feds say “no” to marijuana use
In April this year, Sessions had appointed a task force to review any kind of possible association between increasing prevalence of violent crimes and marijuana. Though findings of the task force will be released by the end of July 2017, Senate leaders have already received instructions to restore regulations that had earlier restricted the Justice Department from stating alternative laws to disallow medical marijuana use.
The recent decision by the attorney general has met with strict opposition from several Congress members, media reports said. Cutting across party lines, Republican Senator Rand Howard Paul of Kentucky and Democrat Senator Cory Anthony Booker of New Jersey have joined hands with other Congressmen who are committed to defending the states’ rights. Congressman Jared William Huffman said, “Our attorney general is giving everyone whiplash by trying to take us back to the 1960s.”
However, not everyone shares the views of liberals advocating for the federal legalization of marijuana. Supporting Sessions’ stand on the drug, Scott Chipman, Southern California Chairman for Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, said, “We love Jeff Sessions’ position on marijuana because he is thinking about it clearly.” While most Americans are now concerned about the nature of rules that would govern weed’s use in future, a small percentage of the country’s population views cannabis as a “gateway drug” responsible for various social problems.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 22 million Americans aged 12 or older were using marijuana in 2015. Legalization of the drug has led to its increasing use with an estimated 20 percent of the nation’s population residing in states permitting adult marijuana use.
To use or not to use
While the debate on marijuana legalization continues, one cannot ignore findings of studies indicating potential hazardous effects of the drug if used incessantly. While cannabis is being used to lower stress levels of those suffering from grievous mental disorders or provide relief in cases of excruciating and persistent pain, research shows that use of the drug over a period of time can cause short-term memory loss and damage the respiratory tract.
In addition, intoxicating chemical in marijuana identified as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may result in a range of physical and psychological effects, which necessitates the need to carry out detailed studies on the drug before implementing any kind of regulation.
Recovery is just a call away
According to a 2016 Gallup poll, roughly one in eight Americans smoke marijuana, while 43 percent of the U.S. adults admitted to trying the drug. Dependence on marijuana can be dangerous, and hence timely treatment is recommended.
Sovereign Health is a premier behavioral and mental health treatment organization in the U.S. that provides comprehensive treatment for all substance abuse disorders, including marijuana addiction. If you or a loved one is grappling with an addiction to cannabis or any other drug, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online for information about our drug addiction treatment centers spread across the country. Our drug addiction treatment programs include a range of innovative and comprehensive measures to ensure quick and complete recovery.