More and more Americans favor legalizing marijuana, a drug that is illegal on the Federal level. Tens of millions of adults consider cannabis use safe, as evidenced by the number of states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use.
Earlier this month, more states passed cannabis initiatives, including conservative states like Montana and Mississippi, according to the AP. Voters in the former approved recreational marijuana, whereas the latter voted in favor of a medical cannabis program.
Recreational cannabis use is now legal in 15 states, and medical marijuana is allowed in 36. A new Gallup poll shows that 68 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis federally. The significant number of supporters – double the approval rate from 2003 – could mean that marijuana will become legal in the near future.
Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act
The U.S. House of Representatives will soon vote on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. In a letter to his colleagues, Hoyer wrote:
“The House will vote on the MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis and expunge convictions for non-violent cannabis offenses that have prevented many Americans from getting jobs, applying for credit and loans, and accessing opportunities that make it possible to get ahead in our economy.”
If legislators approve the MORE Act, it would be one step closer to ending a nearly century-long prohibition disproportionately affecting minority and impoverished Americans. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said:
“One of the biggest winners of the 2020 election was cannabis reform. Americans in five very different states voted overwhelmingly to liberalize their cannabis policies, and it is clearer than ever that the American people are demanding a change to outdated cannabis laws.”
Cannabis Use Disorder in America
Approximately 4.1 million American adults over the age of 12 had a cannabis use disorder in 2017. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the majority of such individuals were between the ages of 12 and 25.
“Cannabis use disorders are often associated with dependence—in which a person feels withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. People who use marijuana often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to two weeks,” said Nora Volkow, M.D., the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “When dependence and other factors escalate to cannabis use disorder, a person cannot stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of his or her life.”
Many men and women seek addiction treatment for cannabis use each year. Marijuana causes problems in many people’s lives, and such individuals are encouraged to seek evidence-based addiction treatment. Even though a drug is legalized doesn’t mean that it’s safe for everyone. It will be interesting to see how the House votes on the MORE Act; we will continue to follow the legislation closely.
California Addiction Treatment Center
Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat if you are battling with cannabis use disorder. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and show you how to lead a life in recovery. Please call 866-273-0868 to learn more about our programs and services.