What is recreational versus medicinal weed? Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, but only four states and the District of Columbia allow for its recreational use, as of 2015.
It is obvious that the conservative posture once held by the masses against legalization is changing, and articles such as this editorial from the New York Times evidence that we, as a society, have come a long way since Reefer Madness. Until we repeal the prohibition completely, however, it’s important to understand the legal nuisances between “medical” and “recreational” to avoid unknowingly stepping on the law’s toes.
Weed is the third most used recreational drug in America, right behind alcohol and tobacco. 25 million Americans smoked pot during the past year and around 14 million puff regularly, despite harsh policies against it, according to government studies.
Recreational cannabis use is a cause of worry for many health professionals because they call the use of a drug for the enjoyment of its therapeutic properties without medical supervision self-medication. The real danger of self-medicating is that the person is usually unaware that their recreational weed use is often masking another, more serious underlying issue, such as depression or insomnia, explains Leafscience.
The line between medical and recreational cannabis use is a bit difficult to define, but getting clearer every day with projects like Measure 91, the new Act that allows the use of recreational marijuana to “eliminate the problems caused by the prohibition and uncontrolled manufacture, delivery, and possession of marijuana” within the state of Oregon. The Act also attempts to “protect the safety, welfare, health, and peace of the people of this state by prioritizing the state’s limited law enforcement resources in the most effective, consistent, and rational way.”
Oregon was the fourth state to approve recreational marijuana use after Washington, Alaska and Colorado, and is paving the way for more.
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