Marijuana has been legalized in two US states and is legal for medical use in over twenty. The first dominos have fallen and many states are getting in line behind Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana as well. The Federal government considers marijuana to be illegal but has issued statements that they will not be taking action to prevent legalization in states. The federal government is now discussing lessening the penalty for marijuana use.
How Decreased Penalties Will Change Marijuana Use
Marijuana is legal to use recreationally in Colorado and Washington. States such as Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and California are discussing the issue at the present time. It may only be a matter of time till marijuana is legal in more than just two states.
The Federal government still considers the drug to be illegal and could, if it wanted to, take action in preventing states such as Colorado and Washington from legalizing marijuana. However, the White House has decided that their attention would be better focused on other issues.
The United States contains the highest population of prisoners in the world in relation to the population of the country. Many convicts have been arrested for drug related crimes such as being in possession of marijuana with the possible intent to sell. Lessening penalties for marijuana could result in many convicts being released from prison and people not being arrested for marijuana use or possession.
By decreasing regulations, the federal government is essentially legalizing marijuana. The federal government may not be allowing marijuana to be sold in all states, but it is preventing marijuana users from being punished like other criminals. This bill lowers the fine for smoking marijuana from $1000 to just $500 and it lowers jail time from six months to just sixty days.
The Dangers of Marijuana
Because marijuana is being legalized for medical and recreational use, the harmful side effects of the drug are being overlooked by many. With a government stamp of approval, marijuana does not suddenly become less harmful to the body than it was before.
Marijuana can cause lung damage and brain damage. Extended use of marijuana over a long period of time can even result in an increased likelihood of cancer for some people. Most of all, though, marijuana is known as a gateway drug for a reason.
Many drug addicts who recover in rehabilitation facilities admit that marijuana was the first drug they tried. Once using marijuana it was easy to transition into stronger and much more harmful drugs.
Additionally, recent studies have shown that marijuana is not only harmful to humans but it is harmful to indoor pets who inhale second hand smoke or may accidentally ingest marijuana. Dogs, cats and other small animals can suffer from marijuana poisoning and an increased number of small pets have been reported to have marijuana poisoning in veterinary clinics in Colorado and Washington where marijuana is legal.
How to Prevent Drug Addiction
The surest way to prevent drug addiction is to never use drugs. Abstinence from drugs will keep the body and mind healthier. Not using drugs will save money and sanity for addicts and friends and families connected to addicts.
When a body is exposed to harmful chemicals for any period of time, it loses its ability to fight sickness and the body can start to deteriorate. When the body is sick it can be expensive and painful to fix. Rehabilitation programs exist to help addicts get off drugs and have saved many lives. Living a happy and healthy life does not include drugs of any sort and a happy, healthy life is absolutely attainable without drugs.