Since legalizing marijuana for medical or general use would increase rather than reduce marijuana use and lead to higher rates of marijuana addiction among young people and adults, legalizing marijuana is not a smart public health or public safety strategy for any state or for our nation. In recent years, there have been substantial changes in cultural attitudes towards marijuana for medical and recreational use. Potential issues with approval, production, dispensing, route of administration and adverse health effects of medical and recreational marijuana are reviewed. Medical marijuana must undergo the same rigorous approval process as other drugs prescribed by doctors.
Legalizing Recreational Marijuana May Have Negative Effects on Public Health. Despite growing acceptance, decriminalization of marijuana should be a federal issue and its recreational use should not be legal. Medical Marijuana Increasingly Available in the United States. It is often used to treat chronic pain, muscle spasms and nausea and vomiting, and to increase appetite.
However, it can affect thinking and memory, increase the risk of accidents, and smoking can damage the lungs and cause cancer. They argue that regulating marijuana will reduce street crime, take businesses away from drug cartels, and make marijuana use safer through the required testing, labeling and child-resistant packaging. Smoking marijuana can damage lung tissues and cause respiratory problems; secondhand marijuana smoke is also dangerous. Data that has tracked adolescent perception of risk and marijuana use for decades clearly show an inverse relationship; as adolescent risk perception decreases, marijuana use increases.
Although researchers differ in their positions on whether marijuana is considered a “gateway drug,” it has all the skills to be one and opens the door for marijuana users to switch to heavier substances. However, there is no high-quality evidence that the drug reduces non-neuropathic pain; this remains an indication of what sufficient data to justify the risks of medical marijuana is lacking. U.S. Border Patrol data shows that marijuana seizures have dropped millions of pounds and are at their lowest levels in more than a decade, indicating that legal domestic production is declining demand for marijuana smuggled from Mexico Studies show that medical marijuana dispensaries decreased crime in their neighborhoods due to a greater security presence and more people walking around the area.
Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana say it will add billions to the economy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, free up scarce police resources and stop huge racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement. Marijuana has been in the news these days, with more and more states legalizing its use for medical reasons, and some making it legal to use it for any reason. While most of those who say marijuana should be legal say they have tried it before (65%), 34% of those who support legalization say they have never tried it. Among those who think marijuana should be illegal, 59% say there should be a federal application in states that allows marijuana use, while 38% say it shouldn't be.
The percentage of people aged 12 to 17 who use marijuana is higher in all legal marijuana states than the national average. However, the ways in which medical marijuana has been approved, prescribed, and made available to the public are very different from other commercially available prescription drugs. The potential benefits and significant risks associated with marijuana use should be taught in medical schools and residency programs across the country. Unlike any other prescription drug used for medical purposes, marijuana is not subject to central regulatory oversight.