Current Issues in Marijuana Use

Current Issues in Marijuana Use

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused illegal drugs in the United States today. It is made from the cannabis plant. When smoked, it can cause feelings of euphoria. Individuals who are high on marijuana can experience the following:

  • Altered perceptions
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or problem solving
  • Problems with learning and memory

While these effects typically go away as the drug wears off, some can be long lasting or permanent. The more a individual uses marijuana, the greater the risk of long-term negative consequences. The dangers of marijuana as well as the potential benefits are currently being researched and discussed, and the rules surrounding marijuana use appear frequently in the news and other sources of current issues.

Should Marijuana Use Be Legal?

Marijuana abuse is widespread. According to a survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009 16.7 million Americans over the age of 12 reported using marijuana in the month preceding the survey. Another survey done in the same year by Monitoring the Future indicated that 42 percent of high school seniors had used marijuana. Abuse is widespread, leading to the argument that marijuana use is harmless and should be legalized. Marijuana use is a highly contested political issue, and many groups and organizations supporting the legalization of marijuana. They argue that most marijuana users do not become addicted and are able to control their use of the substance without harming themselves or others. They also argue that marijuana can have medicinal benefits, especially for chronically ill patients such as those suffering from cancer and should be legalized for that purpose. However the other side of the argument involves the harms of addiction and how many individuals cannot use marijuana responsibly.

Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

A current topic of debate is whether or not marijuana is a gateway drug, or if gateway drugs actually exist. A gateway drug is a drug that is inexpensive and easily accessible, is perceived as not being dangerous and can lead the way to the use of stronger, more dangerous drugs. Many users of hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine began their substance abuse with marijuana. While marijuana use does not always lead to further drug use, it can open the door to cravings for a euphoric high and can put the person in contact with illegal drug dealers and peers that encourage the use of other drugs.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

A current question is whether or not marijuana is addictive. While many behaviors, actions and substances are psychologically addictive, not everything can physical dependency. Many would argue that marijuana is not physically addictive, but long-term marijuana users do report withdrawal symptoms in the weeks following a cessation of marijuana use. Even if a user is not physically dependent on the drug, he or she can still be addicted to marijuana. Addiction is defined as continued use regardless of the negative effects of the drug. If an addiction to marijuana develops, professional rehab treatment is needed. The longer the addiction goes untreated, the greater the consequences and the more difficult it is to recover, so it is crucial to get help as soon as a problem is recognized.

Do You Need Marijuana Abuse or Addiction Help?

Is your marijuana use becoming a problem? Do you worry about someone you love who is struggling with an addiction to marijuana? Please call, and let use answer your questions or provide a free marijuana abuse assessment. Calls and phone services are free and confidential, so please call now.