Legal Marijuana is a topic being discussed throughout the world and will actually be voted on by the UN in 2009. The rationalization is that regulation will allow control of the strength of the THC and the decimalization will have a positive social impact. Ten out of fifty states in the US have passed Medical Marijuana Laws and more states will be voting on similar laws in the coming months. These laws are only symbolic at this point because the federal government still has laws forbidding the use, possession and cultivation of Marijuana in the US. If the federal law changes these states are ready, at lest as far as the law is concerned to start distributing marijuana.
Legal Marijuana will impact Addiction Treatment in a number of ways. There will be experts that will insist that people cannot become addicted to Marijuana and that Drug Abuse will be a more appropriate label. Physical addiction to Marijuana will be denied and therefore third party payment for detox will be out of the question. Legalized Marijuana will increase the depth of denial in an addict with the argument that if it is legal it must not be a problem. The use of Marijuana impairs attention and judgment and will make the casual user more willing to try other drugs or partake in questionable behavior.
Marijuana use increases the risk of cancers in repertory system, is linked to leukemia in offspring and is the cause in a decline of cognitive skills especially with adolescents. Social impact and the rise in health costs associated with legalizing Marijuana seems to have been left out of the equation when deciding the benefits of a change in the legal status of this particular plant.
Marijuana is a gateway drug and will lead to using other drugs some of which are more addicting and physically debilitating. Society and the media for years has warned of the dangers of Pot and are now considering making it legal. What massage does that send to those that are just starting to experiment with intoxicating substances? Drug Rehab Centers should get ready for an influx of new patients.
by Dan B. Clark