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The passing of new laws in Colorado and Washington in November to support the legal use of marijuana in these states brings the impact of such legislation into question. While some states are seeking to reap the tax benefits associated with the heavy marijuana trade, others are trying to alleviate the costs associated with enforcing state bans.
All of these actions are still in limbo, however, as marijuana production, use and destruction are still considered federal crimes. Obama may claim that his administration has better things to do than to enforce marijuana bans, but the reality is there is still no consistent approach to the drug across the U.S.
Despite the motives associated with marijuana legislation, those who use the drug heavily cannot deny the impact on the brain and body. As highlighted in a Psychology Today report, the consistent user can suffer from memory loss, depression issues, lung damage and even several forms of cancer.
Marijuana users tend to argue the benefit associated with their drug of choice by comparing it to the effects of alcohol or other substances. The challenge in this approach is that it is very easy to determine when someone has had too much to drink and needs to avoid certain activities. For the marijuana user, however, there is no ‘legal limit’ even in states where its use has been newly allowed. Likewise, how much can the average person use before it becomes a health risk?
While an attempt to answer these questions may just lead to a burgeoning industry, the reality is that there are certain states in the Union that appear to be ready to tackle the debate.