Marijuana is a big debate. Some people say it is totally harmless and less harmful then alcohol, which is legal. Others say that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads someone to do harder street drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Many say legalized marijuana would lead to more people in addiction treatment and resources stretched even further.
There has been a recent debate in the state of California, because the state is basically broke, that if marijuana was legalized it would help alleviate the state’s budget woes. Research has showed that is as difficult to quit smoking marijuana daily as it is nicotine cigarettes. And nicotine cigarettes are also legal in the United States for those over the age of 18. And if marijuana use does lead to the use of harder drugs or because of mental problems, rehab centers that use dual diagnosis treatment would be needed.
No matter what side of the debate you are on, it is interesting to take a look at what the Dutch did. They have coffee shops that sell the drug in the Netherlands to those who were at least 16 and the rates of young people using the drug went up. But, once the number of coffee shops dwindled and the legal age was changed to 18, the statistics for use went down. There is also a thought if criminal penalties for marijuana use should be lessened for those who have small amounts in their possession.
No matter what you think, it needs to be taken into consideration that marijuana is potentially harmful, but no more so really than alcohol and cigarettes and those are both legal at certain ages. Kids already get a hold of marijuana and it’s all about parenting to keep them away from things until they are old enough to make their own informed decisions.