Believe it or not, marijuana was once demonized in the United States and thought of as a highly dangerous drug that brought about consequences like cocaine or heroin. Today, we recognize that marijuana has its disadvantages and advantages. If you need marijuana addiction treatment, please contact Women’s Recovery at 833.754.0554 today.
Recreational Marijuana Use is Widely Accepted And Legal in Colorado
In the past decade, public perceptions of marijuana have changed drastically. It is legal for recreational use in eight states, including Colorado and Washington, and legal for medicinal use in 29 states and Washington D.C. We now know that pot is considered relatively safe by most people. For many, the drug has provided a medical miracle. However, it is essential to remember that weed can be addictive, not without its adverse effects.
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of legalized marijuana for recreational use, discuss what it’s like living in a state where the stuff is legal, and talk about the benefits of medicinal marijuana as an alternative to opioids and benzodiazepines.
Pro: Marijuana Brings In Millions Of Dollars In Tax Revenue
The Colorado Department of Revenue reports that in 2017, the state brought in more than $205 million in taxable marijuana sales. This tax increase is excellent news for the Centennial State. The taxable income generated will support the state’s schools, improve infrastructure, and help to fund vital state programs that assist Colorado communities. This is also true for other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
The money generated from marijuana sales once lined the pockets of seedy drug dealers and perpetuated gang violence. Knowing the people of Colorado will benefit from the taxation of marijuana an advantage. Perhaps one of the most significant benefits to legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been the spike in revenue for the state and its people.
Pro: Crime Rates Are Down Since Colorado Legalized Marijuana
Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, “Denver experienced a 2.2 percent decrease in violent crime rates and an 8.9 percent reduction in property crime offenses,” according to research conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance. Experts have attributed much of the crime reduction to changes in the black market since marijuana legalization. Now that Colorado residents can go into marijuana dispensaries and purchase their weed legally and affordably, this has caused a dynamic shift in the way cartels and illegal pot dealers do business. There is no longer the need to fight for turfs and territories, which has brought crime down.
Con: More Teens Are Smoking Marijuana in States Where It Is Legal
There have been widespread reports in the media that teen pot smoking has not increased in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. However, in May 2017, CBS News reported a research study that revealed that four times as many teens are ending up in Colorado hospitals due to marijuana intoxication since pot was legalized, calling this data into question. According to the article, “The number of teens diagnosed annually with marijuana intoxication or testing positive for pot during a drug screen at Children’s Hospital Colorado rose from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014.”
With weed more readily available and accessible, it’s no surprise that more teenagers are getting their hands on it. The experts suggest that we will see more and more teenagers abusing marijuana in the years to come. Because marijuana use is now legal, many teens will stumble blindly forward, thinking weed is safe. Not realizing marijuana addiction is a very real thing, many unsuspecting teenagers will abuse it and end up with problems caused by their habit.
Con: Wide Acceptance of Legal Marijuana Will Encourage More Pot Smoking
Although there is little data or scientific evidence currently available to support the claim, many addiction experts believe that marijuana use is likely to increase over time in states where marijuana is legal. Because marijuana is legal in states like Colorado, the dangers of smoking or ingesting marijuana will be downplayed just like they are with alcohol. People will begin to perceive marijuana as entirely safe because the government has legalized it.
Many Americans will start to use it, not understanding that it does have addictive qualities and it can cause problems in people’s lives. Where weed was once illegal, now that it has become legal, it stands to reason that more people will be willing to try it. As it becomes more socially acceptable, more and more people will begin to use pot. And, more people will abuse it and experience negative consequences because of their abuse.
Con: Marijuana Is An Addictive Substance
Although marijuana is not as addictive as heroin or cocaine, marijuana IS an addictive substance. Many people start smoking marijuana unaware that they may be genetically predisposed to becoming addicted to it. Obsessive and compulsive marijuana smoking can cause someone’s life to spiral out of control and bring about negative consequences. Believe it or not, thousands of people check themselves into rehabilitation centers every year. Their lives have become unmanageable because of marijuana and because they can’t stop smoking it. Marijuana abuse causes a loss in productivity, problems at work, difficulties with family, run-ins with the law, and all sorts of other negative consequences.
Who Is at Risk for Marijuana Addiction?
Now that you understand the pros and cons, the question remains, are you at risk for marijuana addiction? Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to become addicted to pot. It’s widely known as a drug that does not lead to physical addiction, but it can become psychologically addicting. This means that with continued use, you feel as though you need it. The reality is that anyone who continually uses weed can become addicted to it. However, there are some risk factors that can make someone more susceptible to the addiction. They include:
- Having a family history of addiction
- Suffering from a mental health condition
- Lack of family involvement in one’s life
- The availability of cannabis
- Spending time with others who also use weed
If you believe that it is necessary to get marijuana addiction treatment, please call Women’s Recovery today.
Get Treatment at Women’s Recovery
If you believe you struggle with marijuana addiction, it’s best to talk with someone about your options. You may need to consider attending a rehab program to get the help you need to stop using marijuana. At Women’s Recovery, we offer a range of treatment options, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Group therapy
- Meditation therapy
- Yoga therapy
To learn about the treatment options available, please contact Women’s Recovery today at 833.754.0554.