Despite unending drug wars waged by former presidents – including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Walker Bush and Barack Obama for the past several decades, marijuana somehow seems to be winning the race. Cannabis, which had its humble beginning as an ordinary pharmaceutical ingredient, has made inroads into millions of American households in the form of a harmful drug.
Recently, marijuana prohibition celebrated its 80th birthday. On October 2, 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was enacted as law. For the first time, the federal Act mandated criminal penalties on activities involving the possession, manufacture or sale of marijuana, which eventually progressed into an era of the federal prohibition on the drug. Nevertheless, more than half of the U.S. states have decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes in recent years.
“The ongoing enforcement of marijuana prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts young people and communities of color,” said Erik Altieri, executive director of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting legalization of non-medical marijuana nationwide. Altieri reiterated that it is futile to penalize an adult who makes a choice to engage in the responsible use of marijuana, which is thought to be safer than tobacco or alcohol by some.
So far, the U.S. Congress has participated in only two debates to weigh the pros and cons of the Marihuana Tax Act, which was largely based on the testimony of the then Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry Anslinger. Anslinger had earlier compared marijuana with the monster Hyde, citing irreparable consequences. However, Anslinger’s sensational testimony was rebutted by Dr. William Woodward of the American Medical Association (AMA), who insisted that Anslinger’s hyperbolic statement cannot be backed with evidence.
Therefore, in the absence of further debates and the Congress’s approval, the then President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill into law in 1937. This Act led to the removal of cannabis from American pharmacies and the end of hemp cultivation across the U.S. Moreover, the passage of the US Controlled Substances Act (CSA) resulted in the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, along with other drugs such as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and Ecstasy.
Pot is an addictive drug
Despite the wide-acceptance of marijuana in many circles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither recognized nor approved its medicinal value. While several states are embracing the snowballing legal cannabis market, experts fear that the harmful and addictive nature of the drug will get sidelined, leaving millions vulnerable to marijuana use disorder.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. 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. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans are not aware of the fact that marijuana is a highly-addictive and mind-altering substance which can lead to several health problems. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the main ingredient in marijuana that induces psychoactive changes in the body, causing addiction and compulsive drug-seeking behaviors in chronic users.
Research shows that prolonged use of marijuana can affect several body and brain functions in a significant way. Besides, it is also known to have an adverse impact on one’s social and professional life making it tougher for individuals battling marijuana use disorder to break free from the clutches of the drug. The spike in pot addiction rates nationwide can be attributed to the ever-growing ease of availability, perceived absence of harm and the wide social acceptance of the drug.
Seeking treatment for marijuana addiction
Commonly termed as weed or pot, marijuana continues to be the most popular drug of choice in California. Research suggests colossal amounts of low-grade marijuana are often smuggled into the state by Mexican drug cartels along the southwest border. Besides, highly potent Canadian marijuana, which is commonly known as “BC bud,” is also smuggled into the state through the northern border.
Misuse of the drug can push people toward total dependence, mental health problems and other significant health hazards. Sovereign Health understands the misery of an individual struggling with marijuana use disorder. Our customized marijuana detox programs at our reputed marijuana addiction treatment centers in California are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from addiction to marijuana, contact Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California, which offers a variety of customized residential therapies for all ages. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.