Authorities in Los Angeles on June 8 released a draft of proposed regulations to oversee the growing commercial marijuana industry in the city. They have announced a 60-day public comment period before initiating any further action in this regard. “Release of the draft ordinance is a crucial step to prepare for the Jan. 1 statewide legalization of cannabis,” said City Council member Paul Koretz.
In a bid to eliminate rogue operators, the new rules speak of specifications to cultivate fragrant buds. The proposition prohibits the cultivation of cannabis along the Hollywood Freeway, mandating commercial marijuana establishments to strictly engage in only indoor cultivation, media reports said.
The proposed rules make it obligatory for pot dispensaries to run their operations at a minimum distance of 800 feet from schools, libraries and each other with residential areas being off-limits. Other rules serve as a proposed set of guidelines to issue thousands of cannabis-related licenses ranging from pot distribution to storefront sales. “No one neighborhood should bear the brunt of the cannabis business,” said another City Council member Nury Martinez.
Though the use of medical marijuana was decriminalized in the state of California more than two decades ago, the marijuana industry across Los Angeles has largely been disorderly and unregulated for a very long time. The city, which is home to four million people, is projected to be the largest pot market in California. Authorities fear that in several Los Angeles neighborhoods, the expected complete legalization next year would lead to a surge in crimes and illegal trafficking in the vicinity of marijuana dispensaries.
In the wake of the recently proposed regulations, the California Growers Association believes that the strong policies in Los Angeles are vital to the success of regulated marijuana throughout the state of California. After closing down several illegal pot dispensaries in the past, California is facing the mammoth task of managing a growing, profitable industry with a projected value of $7 billion.
Marijuana is not safe substance as perceived by many
In the wake of the growing popularity of the pro-cannabis campaigns, which insist on decriminalization of the drug, many fear that the harmful and addictive nature of cannabis will get sidelined. Despite the wide acceptance of marijuana in many circles, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has neither recognized nor approved its medicinal value. It continues to be categorized as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act because of high potential for abuse. The steady spike in marijuana addiction rates in the country can be attributed to the growing ease of availability, perceived harmlessness and the social popularity of the drug, across all sections of society.
Studies have revealed the presence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxin, in marijuana. Frequent use can lead to abuse and addiction. Estimates of the number of people across the United States addicted to marijuana are phenomenal. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 22 million Americans aged 12 or older were using marijuana in 2015.
Being a long-acting drug, cannabis is known to stay in the system for a longer period of time exposing the individual to several health hazards. Research shows that use of marijuana over a period of time can cause short-term memory loss and chronic smoking can damage the respiratory tract. In the recent years, the harmful effects of marijuana are becoming increasingly apparent. Prolonged smoking is known to cause wheezing, shortness of breath, production of morning sputum and airway obstruction in the nasal passages.
Researchers at the Harvard University have discovered that marijuana use alters brain structure by visibly modifying brain volume. Studies suggest that smoking weed on a regular basis can induce changes in density and volume of the amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Additionally, the psychoactive properties of its primary ingredient – THC — reduces the volume of gray matter that controls motivation, emotions and reward.
Path to recovery
Research shows that everyone has the neurobiological potential to become an addict. However, in the area of rewards, every individual might not be on the same level as people addicted to a substance where it might be simply hard-wired into their gray matter. Nevertheless, marijuana modifies the brain’s reward system by inducing a dopamine rush, which automatically tweaks the brain for a heightened response to other drugs. The help of a recognized drug addiction treatment clinic can be really beneficial in kicking the addiction forever.
Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances despite the negative impact on his or her life. The residential treatment programs at Sovereign Health of San Clemente are designed to help foster marijuana addiction recovery in a holistic manner. If you or your loved one is battling an addiction to marijuana, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online to know about one of the most effective marijuana detox options at our reliable rehab centers in California.