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The Real Damage Caused By Marijuana Legalization

For all of the extremely well-documented adverse effects of substance abuse and addiction, necessitating the drug abuse treatment in Florida of intensive outpatient programs like Family Recovery Specialists, it would seem that marijuana is becoming increasingly mainstream. When Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an amendment officially legalizing marijuana in his state, Jimmy Fallon joked that stoners had taken a moment to thank the Governor – before spending a few hours just saying the word ‘Hickenlooper’.

Medicinal marijuana may appear on the November ballot in Florida, amid findings in some studies of marijuana’s effectiveness in the treatment of cancer and AIDs, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and glaucoma. Public opinion does not seem to weigh against the drug’s legalization, with 55 per cent of Americans being in favor, according to a CNN poll. There appears to be an apathy among many parents about teenage experimentation with marijuana that is often seen as a rite of passage, despite the cannabis of today being very different to that of 30-40 years ago. Between 1996 and 2008 alone, there was a 175 per cent increase in the potency of marijuana. According to Family Recover Specialists. €œAnytime we increase the potency of a substance, we increase the likelihood it will cause addiction, particularly in the developing, adolescent or young adult brain.”

Statistics also shed much light on the greater need than ever for drug abuse treatment in Florida, with 1 million people being treated for dependency issues related to smoking pot in 2010. Family Recovery Specialists has been able to recognize this problem at close quarters. Co-Founder and Clinical Director, Ana Moreno informs us that marijuana is second only to alcohol in the frequency with which Xanax Online it is abused. Ms. Moreno attributed this to the development of a tolerance in those who smoke it, necessitating increased use to achieve a high – a tendency shared with alcohol  and other substance abusers.

With a marijuana user’s decline being more gradual than is the case with other drugs, Ms. Moreno warns that it is more difficult to spot abuse. The consequence is that those receiving drug abuse treatment in Florida may have already been abusing for years, with increased personality changes and difficulties in realizing their life’s potential. There are good reasons why the American Medical Association has opposed pot’s legalization, describing it as a “dangerous drug”. In common with tobacco, marijuana causes harm to the lungs due to a mixture of toxic gases and tiny particles, while according to a New Zealand study, long-term damage can be caused to the teenage brain as a result of prolonged use. Mental decline continued even after discontinuation of drug use. “We are also seeing an increase in psychotic episodes as well as other underlying mental health issues in chronic marijuana users, “ according to Ray Estefania, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Family Recovery Specialists.

Some cash-strapped states, however, remain too attracted to legalizing pot as a potential taxable revenue source. Nor does marijuana being both legal and illegal in many cases – the latter applying in federal law – make it any less of a legal and moral issue for political candidates. Ultimately, legalizing marijuana doesn’t just increase the urgent and widespread need for drug abuse treatment in Florida – it also greatly compromises what should be the goal of any good government of promoting a healthy and productive society.

Author

Bertrand T

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