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Medical MarijuanaIn many states, there is a growing liberalization of policies surrounding marijuana practices, marijuana law enforcement, and more. In states like California, medical marijuana is now legal and the lay of the land for people who can get a prescription from a medical doctor to carry a small amount of marijuana for personal use.

In other states like Washington and Colorado, small amounts of marijuana generally speaking have been cleared for general use – meaning that people do not simply need a medical card or other identifier to use a small amount as long as it is for personal use. Still other states like Oregon are mulling over these options, and trying to decide if enacting some sort of legal marijuana laws may be right for them.

But do you know the difference between medical marijuana, and illegal marijuana that is sold on the street and behind the backs of law enforcement? Here are a few things to help you tell the difference in time:

Forms and uses of medical marijuana

Medical marijuana, as the name may suggest, is ideal for people who need the marijuana for some medical or medicinal purpose, primarily to ease pain and improve quality of life for people with cancer issues, chronic pain, and other troubles. Medical marijuana can take many forms, including in pills and from food form, and is not simply smoke able as is the stereotypical marijuana cigarette.

Illegal Marijuana is more nefarious

While medical marijuana is more regulated and monitored thanks to legalization, street marijuana takes on a much different form in many cases. Many times, street marijuana dealers and users run the risk of their drugs being laced with far more serious, severe, and lethal drugs and products, which can contribute to the detriment of a person’s health if they do not realize what is in the drugs themselves. Additionally, street dealers don’t provide a guarantee for the source, growing conditions, and overall quality of the marijuana they sell, potentially creating a far more dangerous product for use.

With both types and kinds of marijuana, it is important to know that there is a danger of addiction, as the drug does have the habitual markers and reactions that can cause people to use it time and again, sometimes to the detriment of their health. This is especially the case in people who find themselves generally predisposed to a variety of addiction problems, and those looking for addiction need to be aware of the risks as they consume this drug.

For others, though, marijuana provides a valuable respite that can allow people to get the most out of their lives and improve the quality of their lives over time, providing for them important therapy and benefits that are otherwise hard to come by with a variety of drugs and legal substances, to boot.

As states continue to become more progressive and liberal, it seems as though marijuana may very well continue to be more attached to our culture as it is further legalized and regulated by governments around the country.  If in doubt check the situation out with a local law office or police department.

This alarming video made by NYT tells the story of Chris Williams a Montana Marijuana grower who thought he was following the law and is now facing life in prison.

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