Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. The majority of states allow for some level of marijuana use depending on the circumstances. Medical marijuana laws vary from state to state with some states only allowing possession if the person suffers from rare medical conditions. Other states have final marijuana laws still in process, and in some states, it remains illegal to possess marijuana in any form.1
The laws from state to state paint a clear picture of the ongoing debate about legal marijuana in any form. The debate is heated and both sides feel very strongly. Many disapprove of medical marijuana because they believe it is a step toward legalizing all illicit drugs for general use. Others argue that marijuana is far safer than alcohol, which is legal, and that medical marijuana provides a safe and natural treatment for a variety of chronic issues.
One of the biggest concerns is that the ease of access to marijuana, medical or otherwise, will mean that children have easier access to a drug that could hurt them, cause marijuana addiction or lead to the addiction and abuse of other drugs. Others are concerned that chronic marijuana use will lead to marijuana addiction in the user and a lower quality of life as well as health problems, financial issues, and more.
The Marijuana Debate
It’s a debate that rages on college campuses, in neighborhood newspapers, at dinner tables, and in political boardrooms. Whether or not marijuana should be considered legal when used for medicinal or recreational purposes is a highly emotional topic. On the conservative side are those who believe that marijuana should remain illegal in any form and for any purpose.
On the liberal side are those who are fighting for the legalization of the drug, though this side is split between those who believe that marijuana should be legal and regulated in the same way as alcohol and those who believe that it should only be legal for the purposes of medical treatment for patients with certain disorders that could reap the marijuana rehab benefits.
Pros of Legal Marijuana
Those who are for medical marijuana say that it’s silly to know that a resource is available to treat certain medical disorders and not take advantage of it. They argue that many other prescription drugs – Vicodin, OxyContin, Valium, Xanax, and stimulant medications to name a few – are also highly habit-forming and can lead to addiction.
Those in favor point out that no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose. They also believe the potential abuses of the drug by those without a prescription or by teenagers should be the responsibility of the patient or the parent and not the responsibility of state legislation.
Compared to other medications, proponents of medical marijuana argue that marijuana is much safer for the patient and less damaging to the body in the long run.
Legalized Marijuana Considerations
The potential for abuse, in general, embodies most of the arguments against medical marijuana. The biggest concern of those against medical marijuana is that prescription medication would be abused either by the patient legally purchasing the drug or by those who would steal or purchase the medication illegally.
The development of marijuana addiction, in either the patient or in teens who get their hands on the drugs and THC products sold to patients, is of large concern.
The flashy marketing attached to THC-laced drinks and baked goods appear to be marketed toward a younger audience and this is unnerving to many. There is also concern that many who don’t need marijuana prescriptions will lie to doctors in order to procure a medical marijuana card.
Despite the restrictions and federal regulations of medical marijuana establishments and membership cards, there are still those who abuse the system. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recent studies show that 30 percent of those who use marijuana have some degree of a marijuana use disorder (marijuana addiction).2 Regular use of marijuana under any circumstance can lead to abuse and addiction.
When a medical marijuana prescription begins to interfere with other aspects of life, just like with any other prescription drug, it is a problem that requires addiction treatment.2
Finding Help for Marijuana Addiction
Finding an appropriate marijuana rehab help or the individuals to receive the kind of comprehensive care they need to fight addiction starts with knowing what you need. If a patient has an underlying medical disorder that garnered the medical marijuana prescription in the first place, it is important that she find a marijuana rehab that can provide her with continued treatment for that issue in addition to addiction treatment. Aftercare services that are long-term in nature, like sober living facilities, are often valuable in marijuana addiction treatment as well.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a marijuana addiction, we can help. Call our toll-free helpline, 269.280.4673, 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options. Recovery IS possible with the right help. Call us now.
1 “State Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America’s Leaders. Governing, 30 Mar. 2018.
2 “Is Marijuana Addictive?” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). May 2018.