Marijuana Use in the United States
Marijuana abuse has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and the problem is only getting worse. In fact, discussion and controversy regarding marijuana use have become pervasive throughout American society. Congressmen and women continuously legislate on medical marijuana issues, activists fight for and against its legalization by petitioning their various governments, and social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are rife with users’ opinions on the matter. In addition, government efforts to stop the trafficking and possession of marijuana and other drugs leads to frequent arrests of people from every walk of life. Hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders fill jails across the country, most of them serving time for marijuana-related charges. A complete understanding of this problem is crucial for creating marijuana legislation which truly serves the needs of United States citizens.
Despite significant law enforcement efforts in the United States and abroad, marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the world. Its use also carries a much higher level of societal acceptance than cocaine, heroin, and other narcotics. In the United States, large-scale efforts at legalization over the past decade are a testament to this acceptance. Popular media also reflect this tolerant attitude, as marijuana use is often taken lightly and joked about in movies, music, and stand-up comedy in a way that narcotics use is not.
A 2010 survey reported that United States teens now use cannabis even more than they use tobacco. Most researchers cite the now-widespread availability of the drug, as well as changing attitudes surrounding its use, as reason for this phenomenon. Additionally, many adolescents believe marijuana to be far less harmful to their health than cigarettes or chewing tobacco, especially concerning issues of habit forming and physical dependency. Overall, this study brings new and interesting concerns to light. Since today’s teens will be the leaders of government and industry within a few decades, common attitudes and public policy regarding marijuana use may drastically change.
Aside from its prevalence amongst teenagers, marijuana use is gaining popularity with senior citizens. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that cannabis use tripled among people aged fifty-five through fifty-nine from 2002 to 2008. Many speculate that this trend is a result of these seniors’ upbringings in the 1960s, an era during which drug use was rampant and widely accepted among young people. In addition, some seniors use marijuana to treat glaucoma, joint pain, and other ailments which commonly afflict the elderly.
It can be difficult to assess the risks of marijuana use among United States citizens because research on the topic is so scarce. Even the few studies that have been done are too controversial to use because of their various funding parties’ alleged biases. Despite these difficulties in research, recent studies suggest that consistent, heavy use of cannabis can make existing mental and emotional disorders even worse. In fact, people with these types of conditions may even develop a physical dependency on the drug, although most proponents of its legalization assert that it is non-habit-forming. Whether or not marijuana is harmful, the criminal consequences for its possession can be life-changing, often devastating a convict’s job options, social connections, and education. If you are concerned about the consequences of using marijuana, for your own sake or for a loved one, click the links below for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Source by Leiaste Ploneck