Florida Drug Treatment and Medical Marijuana
Florida drug treatment has allowed thousands of people to rid their lives of drugs and alcohol. However, some of the same substances can actually have beneficial uses – especially marijuana. Though many users find it to be addictive, cannabis has long been used to help patients suffering from chronic pain and immune degeneration. In order to adopt more sensible drug policies, all Americans should understand the history and future potential of medical marijuana.
Societies around the world have used marijuana for thousands of years, and Americans have grown it for commercial and recreational use since the seventeenth century. It became a popular medicine in the early 1800s, but state governments were quick to regulate it. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most states enacted legislation that restricted the sale of cannabis to pharmacies. In 1937, Congress stepped in and made it illegal for anyone to use marijuana for non-medicinal purposes.
The Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970, and Nixon followed suit in 1971 with his declaration of the War on Drugs. Marijuana is now listed a Schedule I narcotic, and being convicted for possession can lead to five, ten, and even fifteen-year prison sentences. A handful of states have once again approved it for medicinal use, but the Drug Enforcement Administration continues to raid legal dispensaries.
Medical Uses of Cannabis
Despite its bad reputation, marijuana has a variety of legitimate medical uses. They include:
*Glaucoma treatment: THC – the hallucinogenic chemical in cannabis – allows patients to see better by reducing the pressure in their eyes.
*Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s can be caused by inflammation, as well as the buildup of plaque in the brain. Marijuana has been proven to reduce both of these effects, slowing neurodegeneration in elderly people and alcoholics.
*HIV and AIDS: AIDS patients often have severely restricted appetites, but low calorie consumption can actually make their immune systems worse. Marijuana allows them to eat more without pain or discomfort, thereby increasing their immune functions. It also reduces the pain they experience due to infectious diseases.
*Heroin Addiction: THC can drastically reduce chemical dependency in people who abuse heroin and other opiates. Studies have shown that rehab patients are far more likely to abstain from opiates when using marijuana.
Since the beginning of the War on Drugs, groups throughout the country have petitioned for the decriminalization of marijuana. As of 2012, nineteen states have legalized it for medicinal use, and others may soon do the same. Some people claim that pro-legalization activists only want to get high “for fun” – but such movements are often composed of doctors, scientists, and other medical professionals. They see cannabis as a useful medicine that’s far safer than opiates and other pain-relieving drugs.
Some law enforcement officials are also in favor of legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Police officers have a front-line view of the War on Drugs, and they can see what a drastic failure it has been. Regardless of their personal opinions on marijuana, many of them are outraged at the gang violence, prison-crowding, and civil liberties violations created by prohibition.
If you’re struggling with marijuana, alcohol, or any other substance, help is available. Call the number at the top of your screen to learn more about Florida drug treatment. We’re standing by night and day to help you get your life back on track.