Legalize Marijuana or should the potential for addiction stand in the way?

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When someone thinks of addiction, marijuana is typically not something they would associate with the term. Alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine, and other narcotics are all thought to be addicting, but research has shown that one in six youths who experiment with marijuana are likely to develop an addiction.

The potential for addiction:

Marijuana, much like alcohol, can be used responsibly and occasionally. For some people however, marijuana becomes a focal point of their lives. These users will smoke before an event or maybe even during as those addicted to the drug feel it makes everything better. Those addicted to marijuana also typically stop talking to friends who don’t smoke, instead surrounding themselves with like minded individuals who also pine for the drug.

Decriminalization:

Part of the confusion about marijuana is that while one group may be trying to educate the public about the dangers of pot, other groups are working hard to get the drug legalized. In places like Oregon, Alaska, and California, legislature is in place or underway to decriminalize small amounts of the drug.

Long term effects:

There have been a number of studies done on the long term ramifications of marijuana use. There have been connections between chronic use of the drug and conditions such as depression, anxiety, and even suicide. One part of the science which is rather unclear is the extent to which marijuana could cause mental illness or if it’s use is unrelated to the onset of mental illness. Even short term use can have a negative impact on memory and one’s ability to learn.

Medicinal marijuana:

Still, there are many debilitating diseases for which marijuana is seen as a medical option. The use of marijuana in cancer patients and others with terminal illness can help to subside the symptoms of disease and treatment. In fact, it has proved helpful in treating nausea and loss of appetite.

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