In 1937, a popular substance known as Cannabis became illegal in all 50 of the United States. Nearly 100 years later, this previously popular substance still faces widespread prohibition and hundreds of thousands of people charged with possession and sale of the substance face jail time every year.
Interestingly enough, when cannabis was first made illegal, it was a very common substance found in many foods and tinctures; however when the substance began being smuggled across the southernmost US border in large quantities under the name “marihuana,” people became concerned over the safety of cannabis, and thus backed plans to prohibit its use and sale.
Legalization and Health Benefits
Fast forward to today, and cannabis is legal for recreational purposes in four states and is medicinally available in twenty-three states; this step towards country-wide legalization is a massive change from the strict prohibition of the substance we have seen throughout the past eight decades, and we can thank science for this change. Advancements in science and technology have helped to prove that not only is cannabis entirely non-toxic to the adult human body, with it being impossible to overdose on it, as well as the substance showing no long-lasting negative effects in regular users, but it also holds many medicinal properties in its two active molecules: THC and CBD.
Cannabis serves as almost a “one size fits all” solution to a wide variety of medical conditions. It has been known to decrease anxiety, aid with depression, serve as a solution to seizures, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, as well treat dozens of other medical disorders. Because of the substance’s stress-relieving properties, it is believed that cannabis could serve as a solution to pill addiction. Many people are addicted to dangerous substances such as anxiety relieving drugs (Xanax, etc.), painkillers (OxyContin, morphine, etc.), as well as ADHD drugs (Adderall, Vyvanse, etc.), all of which can be life-threatening when used differently than prescribed. However, cannabis’ vast number of health benefits show promise in combatting dangerous pill addictions.
Dangers of Cannabis Use
Despite rumors circling the internet as well as certain textbooks, research shows that cannabis is not physically addictive, and has no harmful side-effects with long-term use. Smoking the substance can cause minor lung damage, but the carcinogens found in its smoke are far less dangerous and numerous as those found in tobacco, making it far safer than its legal counterpart. Rumors have been passed down through the ages about cannabis use leading to long-term memory loss, brain damage, and even learning disabilities, however through vigorous research, these so-called dangers have been proven entirely false, with the opposite typically reigning true.
Cannabis use has been shown to increase cognitive abilities and memory capacity in those with memory loss, and has been shown to help mentally disabled teens and adults learn more while under its influence. The only real danger from cannabis use is if it is used by someone who has an allergy to smoke, which can be avoided by ingesting it orally, rather than through smoke or vapor.
The End of Pill Addiction
Many people underestimate the dangers of pill addictions, due to their legal (and readily available) status. However, these substances are not nearly as safe as many believe them to be, with the side effects of many of them outweighing the benefits. In fact, many prescription drugs are just as dangerous as Heroine or Meth, if not more so (many of the prescription drugs on the market today use amphetamine compounds as their active ingredient. This is common in ADHD medications). Overdosing on types of pills such as Adderall, Vicodin, or even Xanax can easily lead to death or irreversible damage, and what makes this all the scarier is their inherently addictive properties.
By using cannabis therapy for those currently experiencing pill addictions, we can save and improve thousands of lives. Many prescription pills can be replaced entirely with cannabis as a substitute, as it treats disorders such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD as effectively as their prescription drug counterparts. Should the United States government move to legalize medical marijuana on a nationwide scale, thousands of individuals facing pill addiction could benefit. In fact, many prescription drugs may cease to exist at all when people start to recognize the vast benefits of cannabis treatment.
The Beginning of the Cannabis Era
Overall, cannabis prohibition is nonsensical and is not based in fact. The inaccurate ideals of early 20th century America have given this miracle substance a bad reputation which is very much so undeserved. Thousands of people have already sought the benefits cannabis offers to those who are currently experiencing prescription drug addiction, and thousands more could see those benefits in states that are currently moving to legalize medical cannabis. Currently, medical cannabis is legal on a federal level, but only to the extent that states have the right to legalize it on their own. With more states legalizing it every year, more and more individuals are seeing the benefits that it offers to those suffering from dangerous addictions, and it is becoming ever more clear that the prohibition on this highly medicinal substance needs to come to an immediate end.