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Most of us in recovery remember a day when we smoked our first joint, or sat around ready to take that first hit that would forever change our course. Marijuana legalization has been a controversial topic since it was outlawed back in the 1930s, and almost since it was made illegal, people have been fighting for its decriminalization. As a result, our Orange County drug rehab thought about what this means.

Now that Washington and Colorado have passed recreational marijuana laws, people are wondering if the rest of the nation will follow suit. Should it be decriminalized?

Orange County Drug Rehab Breaks It Down

What does the decriminalization of marijuana actually mean? In the grand scheme of things, not a whole lot. Marijuana is still illegal federally, which means that both Washington and Colorado are subject to DEA raids. The president has made it very clear that he is not planning on letting up on these raids any time soon.

Further, there is still a misconception that the marijuana that many refer to as being benign or non-addictive in decades past is the same as the weed available today. In the 60’s and 70’s, marijuana had a THC content lower than 10%. Today, it can be as high as 40%. Additionally, if weed is strong enough to be confused with bath salts and cause people to strip naked and chew homeless people’s faces off, that is not a substance to be taken lightly, regardless of its humble origins.

Marijuana Legalization Fallacies

There is another popular misconception, and that is that, because it is natural, from the earth, or not made in a lab; that it is somehow a less serious drug or addiction. Well, everything comes from the earth. Uranium comes from the earth as well, but no one will argue that Uranium is not harmful. Hemlock, nightshade, and oleander are natural plants too, but are lethal if ingested. Even cooking with oleander wood can prove fatal.

Is Marijuana Legalization Bad?

No. Not necessarily. As addicts and alcoholics, there is nothing wrong with a substance itself. The problem lies with us. Some people can drink and use with impunity, but we are not of that ilk. For us to partake like normal men and women is tantamount to suicide.

There are some with certain medical conditions who truly can benefit from marijuana’s effects, but for things like depression or anxiety, a lot of that can be remedied just by living a sober and productive life. Being happy and having self esteem is a byproduct of doing things that provide those feelings—not states to attain for their own sake.

What are your thoughts on the recent legalization of marijuana in WA and CO?

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