Now that the 2012 election has drawn to a close, many of us are left questioning the true motives of our president. What does Obama plan to do with the issue of cannabis legalization, and what does this mean for the future of American substance abuse and addiction treatment?
American Cannabis Regulation Debate
In various European and South American countries, marijuana has been decriminalized with varying results. Some countries have claimed positive changes in addiction rates, criminality, etc. Others, however, worry still that in legalizing the infamously “green and natural” substance, the gateway to harder street drugs has merely been widened.
For anti-drug activists, drug rehab experts, parents, teachers and drug enforcement officials, the legalization of marijuana is nothing but a nightmare. The general consensus is that as general availability of marijuana increases, so will usage rates.
The Presidential Position On Marijuana
To public onlookers, it initially appeared that Barack Obama had assumed the position of a “youthful” man who smoked pot in his hey-day, lessening the severity and seriousness of the problem. This attempt at leveling with the American public sent the message that he would one day legalize marijuana.
In a recent interview, Obama clarified his position on the subject. He states that we as a country will not be legalizing the drug, but emphasizes the importance of drug treatment, rehab centers and prevention efforts as opposed to just the law enforcement which includes arrests, drug seizures, etc.
He compared issues like traffic safety and seat belts and cessation of tobacco smoke, to the issue of substance abuse. It is apparent that he feels strongly for the worth of providing educational and rehabilitative resources to those who need help with addiction.
Is Marijuana Really Addictive
The most dangerous misconception existing about marijuana is its habit-forming properties. With a reputation for being safe, non-addictive and natural, children and teens are pushed toward a drug that is just as addictive as any other whether illicit or prescription.
Some of the other negative effects of marijuana include:
• Lowered IQ
• Poor concentration.
• Inability to focus.
• Lung problems like bronchitis.
• Poor breathing.
• Certain cancers.
Marijuana addiction is a very real but treatable condition that develops with gradual and continued use of marijuana. Someone that is addicted to marijuana develops and displays the same symptoms as any other drug users. Marijuana addicts often struggle with the ability to handle responsibility, get or hold a job, have financial issues and even legal issues associated with the addiction problem.
In addition to this, like other drugs, marijuana stores in the fatty tissue of the body, remaining there for years and causing intense physical drug cravings. The more one uses the drug the harder it becomes to stop. Coupled with the physical effects from the drug are the mental effects of withdrawal which include major depression, anxiety, sadness and even mood swings.
Someone addicted to marijuana should be treated in a long term, residential, drug free facility like Vista Bay drug rehab. The Vista Bay program is extremely successful for treating marijuana addiction and seven out of ten graduates of the program remain permanently drug free.
Because of the myths, legalization, promotion and availability of marijuana more and more people are getting addicted. It remains the number one most abused drug in America and sends the highest number of people to rehab every year.
The more we can educate our teens about the dangers of the drug and successfully treat those addicted the greater impact we can make on ending marijuana addiction. In addition to this enforcement must hold their ground with the laws banning the substance across the country and making it illegal.