In 1996, California became the first state in the union to legalize the use of marijuana for people with serious medical problems. Many more states followed suit, and while the federal laws regarding marijuana haven’t changed, it’s possible for many people with medical problems to walk into a doctor’s office and walk out with a slip of paper that allows them to buy drugs in public dispensaries and use them as they see fit, without worrying about facing an arrest from state or federal officials. Even so, while it may be legal, that doesn’t mean everyone approves, and the consequences of use can be severe.
An analysis conducted by Fortune suggests that the use of medical marijuana could result in the loss of employment. People who work in sensitive positions that involve precision, such as airline pilots and surgeons, simply must have a clear head, and if their drug tests come back positive, they could lose their jobs. Even people who work simple desk jobs who use marijuana to cope with the pain of cancer or other ongoing illnesses or chronic pain can still be fired when their drug test comes back positive.
Even though people might use marijuana in order to deal with very serious medical concerns, they might still face the pothead stigma. Their peers might consider them:
- Part of the alternative culture
That label may not disappear with the granting of a medical marijuana card, as it’s deep seated in the culture. Even now, when marijuana is legal in so many states, a CBS poll suggests that 77 percent of Americans think medical marijuana should be allowed for “serious medical conditions.” It sounds straightforward, but people who use the drug for conditions they find serious might be surprised to discover that their peers find their medical problems benign, and they might condemn their use on that basis. Someone with depression, for example, might feel as though marijuana is vital, but a bystander might think that other medications could be more effective in the treatment of depression. In no time at all, the person could face serious stigma.
While state laws might allow marijuana use for those who’ve been preapproved, that card only shields users from criminalization, not other negative consequences. They might still be at risk for:
- Increased rates of anxiety and depression
- Respiratory illnesses
- Difficulty with learning and memory
- Impaired immune system function
- Carcinogenic exposure to delicate lung tissue
No matter how legal the drug might be, it can still be intensely dangerous for the long-term health and happiness of some users.
If you have, or someone you love has, been using or abusing marijuana and you’d like that to stop, call Skywood Recovery at our toll-free number. Our admissions coordinators are here to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.