Even though it is considered by some to be the most harmless illegal drug there is, marijuana still causes a lot of problems. In a handful of states, marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes. This comes after years of advocates pushing for the drug to be legalized for patients, to treat things like chronic pain, nausea, and anxiety. Many people are trying to make marijuana completely legal, but that kind of progression seems pretty far off.
For those states that do permit marijuana for medical purposes, authorities are having a hard time enforcing the laws regarding this substance. While they need to and want to maintain the rights of patients, lines are often blurred between medicinal use and recreational use. If police go after pot growers who are supplying for users for illegal recreational purposes, they run the risk of cutting off the supply also for patients who use it legally. Unless you legalize marijuana possession for growers, dispensaries, and distributers, there will be a negative effect on patients. But, if all these other people are allowed into the loop to supply it to patients, you can expect that some will be selling it to others who aren’t patients as well. The way some of these states are enforcing or not enforcing marijuana use has caused havoc for both authorities and patients.
Many people feel strongly one way or another about the place marijuana holds in our society. There is much support for the legalization of marijuana to relieve pain and distress to patient. But in many ways, even this is causing an obstacle for certain other groups of people, including teens and adolescents, who are easily influenced about things like drugs. A recent study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that the medical marijuana issue is causing confusion among teens about the seriousness of marijuana and drugs in general. Many teens today think that marijuana is not that bad for them to use, since it is legal for some patients. The result is that marijuana usage in teens is on the rise again and more teens are even in need of treatment for the habit.
Then there’s the question of what marijuana does to the mind and body. It may not be as addicting as painkillers, or as life-threatening as heroin, but marijuana does have negative effects on the body. It slows the brain, it effects motor coordination, and it increases heart rate. Over time, marijuana is thought to cause brain damage, including memory loss and learning problems. Some people may deny it, but marijuana also is both physically and psychologically addicting. Part of the danger with marijuana is that it is often seen as so harmless. Many people are drawn into just trying marijuana, but then they find themselves years down the line, still using it, or moving on to more dangerous drugs. Before they know it they have lost control of their lives. We need to set boundaries with this drug, and make it clear to young people that it is dangerous to get caught up with any kind of substance.
This article was written by Bethany Winkel
Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.