To many people, marijuana is viewed as a harmless substance. It is used recreationally by millions of Americans, and for medial purposes by many others. There is often confusion surrounding the use and abuse of this drug, and many people are unaware of the risks associated with recreational usage.
History of Marijuana in theU.S.
A century ago, marijuana was commonly used in theUnited States. In 1937, Congress’ Marijuana Tax Act became the first piece of legislation regulating the substance. During World War II, though, marijuana made a comeback and became commonplace again. During this time, farmers were even encouraged by the Department of Agriculture to grow hemp to be made into rope and cloth for the war effort. In the 1960s and 70s marijuana was used recreationally again by the public. Not until the 1980s, during the War on Drugs, did the substance become criminalized. Today, however, its popularity is rising again, with people recognizing the medical benefits of marijuana. Several states are considering making it legal again.
Dangers of Marijuana
Because marijuana has had such a varied history, it is easy to see why many people today fail to see the harm in using it for recreation. Smoking pot is harmful for a number of reasons. Marijuana use can lead to problems with learning, loss of coordination, depression, and memory loss. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, users can become psychologically addicted to marijuana, and many users find themselves unable to be productive with their job, school, or family, because of their pot use. Research also shows that many of the young people who start out using marijuana will make an easier transition as they get older to using harder substances. Marijuana is called a gateway drug because is often paves the way for young people to start experimenting with drug abuse.
Treatment for Marijuana Abuse
Since pot is often seen as a harmless substance, users sometimes find it difficult to find the right kind of treatment for their marijuana addiction. Instead, many people continue abusing this substance regardless of the damage it is causing in their lives. Marijuana addiction is a real condition, and anyone struggling with this addiction should seek help. Visit our drug treatment programs page for more information.