Legalizing Marijuana for Recreational Use Could Cause Problems If The American Experience Is Anything To Go By
As marijuana is progressively legalized throughout the United States, some researchers are concerned about the short and long-term effects of recreational usage. Of all drugs found on the street, marijuana is the most sought after, accessible drug available. Several surveys conducted around America, show that, on average, 48% of people say they have tried marijuana before. 6.5% of high school seniors admit to using it every day.
The activism for marijuana that surrounded the recent general elections, garnered results and it was not surprising that two states, Washington and Colorado, became the first to legalized it for recreational use, for individuals aged 21 and over.
There are clear answers when it comes medical marijuana research. A rising number of people take the drugs for a variety of therapeutic reasons. Medical marijuana has paved the way for possession and consumption to be allowed in eighteen states and the District of Columbia. A medical card for cannabis may be prescribed by doctors in those jurisdictions. Marijuana is popular in the treatment of ailments include glaucoma- an eye disease that affects the optic nerve, menstrual cramps, and insomnia. Marijuana is also popular among cancer patients as it relieves the pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy. The muscle-relaxing nature of marijuana, means it is also useful in the treatment of muscle stiffness caused by diseases like multiple sclerosis.
FACT: Marijuana is popular in the treatment of ailments include glaucoma- an eye disease that affects the optic nerve, menstrual cramps, and insomnia.
Growing Plant, Growing Problem
So, from a medical standpoint, many studies on marijuana have proved marijuana’s effectiveness. The study on the safety of the drug for recreational use has not.
The biggest difference between medical and recreational use, is the amount consumed on a daily basis. Medical marijuana users are prescribed marijuana because it genuinely serves a purpose, and they need it. Recreational marijuana users are consuming it simply to get “high”.
Daily use, especially that in adolescence, can have a hindering effect on the body and mind. With such popularity among teenagers and young adults, it’s important that researchers investigate to and identify problems caused by the drug which impact maturation and which are linked to recreational marijuana use.
Today’s marijuana isn’t the grass that was around in the 70s. Modern variants are far more potent, something often underestimated by those using it recreationally. Aside from the new lab technology coming out every day, the way modern marijuana is processed, once it leaves the plant, is changing, The goal of today’s marijuana grower is to establish techniques aimed at increasing strength, mostly, focusing on the amount of THC in the plants.
There are theories that this ‘high-octane’ weed is causing a growth in addiction, and that it is this which is fueling the rise of the recreational cannabis industry. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also sparking worry in investigators that believe slowed reaction time and distance perception in people which have taken marijuana would could affect road safety.
SCIENCE: Today’s marijuana isn’t the grass that was around in the 70s. Modern variants are far more potent.
Not So High
When you consume marijuana, it alters your behavior and awareness. Humans naturally produce a structure of molecules called endocannabinoids. When marijuana enters the body, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) acts to mimic the body’s natural production and to causes an identical sensation.
Domino chains of interacting molecules collect in the body and the brain cells that are used to communicate with one another. The “high”, commonly referred to as the effects from marijuana, can be relaxing, joyous, and delightful. Or it can be filled with paranoia and irritability. Many users experience both effects.
A slew of mental abilities is temporarily impaired when someone consumes marijuana. Many of those most substantially impacted relate to memory and attention. The ability to hold information and manipulate it in the mind is heavily affected by the drug. Participants who have taken cannabis, struggled in particular, as part of one test, when asked to remember and recite short lists of numerals and random words. Research has additionally discovered that cannabis affects concentration, weakens motor coordination and interferes with the ability to quickly scan surroundings for obstacles. Marijuana users that have participated in a closed-course driving study have been found to be slower at hitting the brakes, and worse at conducting a safe lane change. What the evidence does not provide, however, even with this evidence, is the right level of impairment to warrant a driving offense.
The immediate effects of marijuana are not hard to monitor in a lab, but the long-term effects are stumping a lot of researchers. In some studies, marijuana users that began at a young age and still use the drug frequently, were found to lose IQ points (compared to a control group).
It’s Not All Nugs And Buds
If potentially dangerous levels of THC in the plants used to create plants and products for recreational use weren’t enough, investigators are also finding contaminates being put in marijuana and sold on the streets today. Dealers normally deal in weight, so it is not uncommon for them to insert something heavy and cheaper than marijuana to increase their take. Examples include sand or glass beads inserted to make their product heavier. Consumption of marijuana which has been interfered with tin this way can, clearly, have lasting effect on the lungs.
The American marijuana industry is still in its infancy. As more and more states legalize it, both medically and recreationally, problems arising (if any) from recreational marijuana use will come to light. It will be the responsibility of lawmakers to appropriate decisions regarding the safety of both the user and society.