Residents of Nevada on the first night of July found themselves amidst celebrations by staunch weed supporters who marked the start of recreational marijuana sales in the state with an extensive fireworks display. Long queues at marijuana shops were seen as the use of pot for recreational purposes was legalized. Nevada became the eighth state in the United States to decriminalize the drug for recreational use.
While hundreds of people queued up for long hours outside pot shops so that they could have their first legal weed, ATMs ran dry for the cash-only sales. Though Nevada voters had approved decriminalization of marijuana possession among people aged 21 years and above in November 2016, existing federal marijuana laws coupled with state casino regulations made it difficult to buy recreational pot from dispensaries.
State Senator Tick Segerblom, fondly called the “godfather of the marijuana movement” in Nevada, was the first to buy cannabis. Talking to CNN affiliate KSNV, Segerblom said, “Every time you buy something here, 33 cents is going to taxes. This is the most heavily taxed and regulated industry in the whole state.” Marijuana sales are likely to help the government earn roughly $60 million in taxes in the next two years.
For private use only
Legalization of marijuana possession came as a respite to those who had earlier been apprehended while carrying and buying the drug from stores. However, cannabis use is forbidden in public spaces like casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, concerts or any other federal property and is a punishable offense with nearly $600 fine.
Outlook toward marijuana use has changed a lot in the last couple of years. Five years ago, recreational marijuana was not deemed legal anywhere in the U.S. Today, eight states and Washington, D.C., allow recreational marijuana use. As opposed to recreational pot sale and purchase, medical marijuana is legal in 29 American states and Washington, D.C.
Marijuana use has always been a matter of controversy with several researches suggesting potential side effects of the drug. Many researchers have warned against the prolonged use of marijuana as their observations find the drug as a possible gateway to use of other kinds of illicit substances.
Despite several states adopting a liberal approach to medical or recreational marijuana use, federal agencies continue to identify the drug as illegal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has neither recognized nor approved the therapeutic value of marijuana. It continues to be classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act owing to the high potential for abuse. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the country. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 22 million Americans aged 12 or older were using marijuana in 2015.
In the recent years, the harmful effects of cannabis are becoming increasingly apparent. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the neurotoxin present in marijuana, is the main reason why individuals are unable to discontinue its use despite the negative impact on their lives. Some researches suggest that early exposure to cannabinoids, just like alcohol and nicotine, could alter the brain’s reward system by creating a dopamine rush, which can lead to addiction.
Road to recovery
Excessive use of any kind of drug can be dangerous. Prolonged use of weed may result in possible suicidal tendencies among users. The first step to treating addiction is to realize that it is not a crime, instead, it is an illness that needs treatment.
If you or your loved one is battling any kind of addiction including dependence on marijuana, get in touch with Sovereign Health, a leading behavioral health care provider. Our state-of-the-art marijuana addiction treatment centers are spread across the U.S. Call our 24/7 helpline number 855-683-9756 or chat online for expert advice about possible ways of marijuana addiction treatment in your vicinity. One should not shy away from treatment because of stigma and discrimination as a delay can make things out of control.