Living in this day and age, debates seem to be where it’s at. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone wants to be heard. Almost every major topic tends to go around the world within seconds and next thing you know it’s all over the internet being discussed and argued over. A great example of a recently, ongoing issue, centered in the greater United States, is the use of Marijuana.
Should it be legal? Should it remain a medical exception? Should it be illegal across the board? These are the questions being asked every day across the country. Some states have come to an agreement and legalized this substance, while others are holding strong to keeping it illegal.
So, why all the debate over this? Just like anything else, there are pros and cons to legalizing Marijuana. Time to bust out that yellow legal pad, make that T-Chart, and get to brainstorming.
|Medical Benefits||Short-term memory loss|
|Safer than prescriptions|
|Lung tissue damage|
|Safer than alcohol||Children have easy access|
|Source of CBD Oil||Risk of abuse and addiction|
|Treatment for chronic|
|Mental health benefits||Certain health conditions|
There are many more, but these are the main concerns.
We aren’t going to talk about all of these, there is research out there if you are wanting more information. But we are going to talk about a few. First, the accessibility of Marijuana for kids. Just like any other drug, there are risks to having Marijuana in your home when you have kids. It’s SO important to make sure it is out of sight and out of mind. Don’t let them know it’s there, don’t keep it in a place that can be found by them. Marijuana is a drug. Yes, it is one of the more “low key” drugs out there, but it’s still a drug. Keep your kids safe by keeping all medication out of their reach.
“Children watch what their parents do,” Epstein tells Health. “I would encourage parents to be talking to their kids and be clear about expectations for their kids about using or not using marijuana and the amount, especially with their teenagers.” (health.com).
Marijuana has been proven to have medical benefits. You should not diagnose yourself. Doctors get paid the big bucks for a reason. They know what works best based on the condition you may have and the circumstances that you are under.
It has been shown that Marijuana has certain medicinal properties that can help with certain disease – multiple sclerosis, chronic pain (i.e. neuropathic pain), mental illnesses such as PTSD and depression; “Clinical Psychology Review concluded that it may have benefits for people with depression, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder” (health.com). But there are other diseases and illnesses that Marijuana may be harmful – anxiety, certain heart diseases, psychosis, etc.
So, again, consult with your doctor; they really do know what’s best.
Risk of abuse – this is a big one. While there are those that claim Marijuana is not an addictive drug, that it is natural and therefore healthy, there are those that will say it is a gateway drug and that you are getting “high” which is not healthy. These debates can go back and forth, on and on, until we are all blue in the face. But what I really want to talk about is the abuse part. I mean, human beings are more prone to abuse of any substance, natural or not, and therefore we need to be aware of this natural tendency.
Let’s say Marijuana does not have an addictive property, it still makes you feel good, right? And we all like to feel good. So, wouldn’t we continue using the thing that is making us feel good? That’s called addiction. Addiction – noun – the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
When a person is addicted to something, they tend to under think certain safety precautions in their life; especially if that “something” is dubbed legal. For example, driving a motorized vehicle. Yes, you will be considered impaired if you are under the influence of Marijuana and you are operating a vehicle. If you have smoked or consumed any part of this substance, even if you have a prescription for it, you will get a DUI. “Marijuana has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents” (verywellhealth.com).
While driving under the influence of alcohol is much easier to prove and convict as opposed to Marijuana, there are ways to prove impairment while on the drug. “Evidence of impairment usually comes from the arresting officer’s observations of things like poor field sobriety test (FST) performance, slurred speech, unusual behavior, and bad driving” (dui.drivinglaws.org).
But are the consequences the same as driving under the influence of alcohol? As with anything else, laws do vary by state. The typical penalties may be as the following: license suspension of 90 days to a year, fines ranging from about $500 to $2,000, up to a year jail (but most first offenders don’t do substantial jail time), substance abuse treatment, and a term of probation. Keep in mind, this is for a first-time offense, and for a person who has a relatively clean record. The consequences can increase severely and fast.
So, whether your vote is for or against the use of Marijuana, here’s the gist – don’t get behind a vehicle unless you are one thousand percent ready for the consequences. Drive sober, be responsible. Understand that drugs, even legal ones, can cause impairment and once impaired you should not drive.
If you do get a DUI for driving under the influence of Marijuana, we can help you. DPX DUI Process Experts is a free service that will help walk you through the complicated, confusing steps of a DUI. And that is not restricted to alcohol. You will still need to complete all of the normal steps – alcohol assessment, traffic survival school, getting SR-22 insurance, and having an ignition interlock put into your vehicle.
Arizona is a medical Marijuana state – that means that a good chunk of this state’s population is under the influence of this drug. Please understand that you are considered impaired if you have been consuming this drug. So, please be aware of what is ok and what is not. Be safe and take care of yourself and those around you.