As more and more American states legalize marijuana for medical as well as recreational use for adults, health care officials believe that such a step is leading to the propagation of the notion that cannabis is harmless, especially among the youth.
The legalization of marijuana is a relatively recent development in the United States. Given the federal government's emphasis on “war on drugs,” marijuana has been historically condemned and is still categorized as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Experts forewarn the public that the legal availability of marijuana for consumption may have a number of undesirable effects on those misusing it, especially the adolescents. On the one hand the legalization of marijuana may be the precursor to greater social acceptability and increased availability of the drug among teenagers and children, on the other hand it could mean advocating the cultivation of more potent marijuana strains and new methods of consuming the drug recreationally.
Shift in cannabis use behavior post legalization
Being in their growing phase, the long-term marijuana use by adolescents yields unfavorable effects on their cognitive functions. Besides triggering addiction and causing psychological and physical dependence, teenagers who are introduced to marijuana early in their life are more likely to continue to abuse the drug even in their adulthood.
Akin to most forms of addiction, the frequent use of marijuana has the potential to alter the hardwiring of the brain, thereby making drug-seeking behavior a priority. In teens, marijuana use can lead to a decline in cognitive skills, school performance, personal relationships, socio-behavioral skills, etc., which lay the groundwork for psychiatric problems to set in later in adulthood.
Whichever way the culture of marijuana evolves following its legalization, adolescents are considered to make up the high-risk group for abuse.
A study by researchers at Dartmouth found that teenagers in states where medical marijuana has been legalized are more likely to experiment with the new methods of using the drug.
This has been attributed to the growing number of dispensaries that have come about to support the legalization of cannabis.
However, an unintended repercussion of this development was that children and adolescents were trying new methods of using the drug, jungle boys mac such as edibles and vaping, at a much younger age compared to their peers in the states where marijuana has not been legalized.
The study led by Jacob Borodovsky, a Ph.D. student at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health emphasized that it is crucial to understand the impact of the shifting legal landscape of marijuana on children and adolescents.
Apparently, certain provisions or elements of the laws legitimizing the use of marijuana, such as allowing dispensaries, home cultivation, etc., change the consumption patterns among youngsters.
With diverse laws emerging across the country, there is a need for understanding the good and bad consequences of marijuana use.
To collect epidemiological samples, the researchers used social media tools, such as online surveys via Facebook, to collect data on the demographical pattern of cannabis use among teenagers.
The researchers found an active relationship between the degree of regulatory oversight of legal marijuana consumption and a teenagers' increased propensity to experiment with the new ways of consuming marijuana.
This spikes the chances of developing a cannabis disorder among youngsters.
Considering the serious implications of marijuana use, researchers strongly feel that the legalization of marijuana needs to be closely monitored and planned well to avoid unwanted public health consequences in the future.
Therefore, the need of the hour is to create rational data-based cannabis laws than to implement a law based on anecdotes.
The acceptance of medical and recreational marijuana use in many states could adversely impact adolescents in ways that increase their risk of developing a marijuana use disorder. According to the lead author Borodovsky, “My hope is that we can use these and other types of results to create rational legal cannabis laws that are based on data rather than anecdotes.”
Preventing marijuana use disorder
Studies suggest that every individual has the neurobiological potential to develop an addiction. Drugs of abuse can potentially change the wiring of the brain and activate its reward-seeking centers in unnatural ways.
When the brain becomes hardwired, the individual starts to experience a multitude of problems in all aspects of his or her life.
Sovereign Health of Florida understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances despite realizing the negative impact on his or her life.
Our customized is tailored according to an individual’s needs in order to treat him or her holistically. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-269-2493 to avail a suitable treatment program at our state-of-the-art facility which is among the top marijuana rehab centers.
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