HUMP DAY : EVOLUTION OF MARIJUANA
Since 1970, when Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act, marijuana has been under continued scrutiny. Because of the act, it has been illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess. However, some states have varying views on the drug, some more liberal than others. Now, in Colorado it is legal to use marijuana recreationally, while in Texas, you can be placed in jail for over 180 days for carrying it. According to a poll by CNN, the nation is divided on its support for the drug. 55% support legalization, and 44% oppose it. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have either legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession — or both, and 23 states prohibit marijuana completely. Many states legalize it for it’s medical uses, it is known to alleviate side effects of chemotherapy, as well as help those with anxiety. Taxes gained from the sale of marijuana have also enticed some states to legalize. However, there is not much research on the long-term effects of cannabis use, what ever form it is used in. Some effects of marijuana use include reduced immune system functioning, reduction of sexual capacity, anxiety, damage to lungs, and more. As with any drug, legal or not, there are many side effects of using marijuana, and there is simply not enough research to give many definitive answers. Because of this, many states have not legalized it, and this debate will carry on for years to come.
Natalie Sumski, Peer Educator