Early in July, US Senate Democrats introduced a draft bill that would legalize marijuana use for Americans, 21 and older. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in December 2020. The Senate version would allow adults to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana without criminal charges and would expunge federal non-violent marijuana crimes. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has stated that he would move ahead on this legislation, even without the support of President Biden.
Currently, adult use of cannabis is legal in 18 states and medical use is allowed in 37 states, though it is still illegal under federal law
A Pew Research Center poll from April, 2021 shows that 60% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal and another 31% believe it should be legal for medical use only. Only 8% of Americans surveyed believe marijuana should remain illegal in all circumstances.
Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, those whose livelihoods are related to cannabis use (medical or recreational) are unable to get financing and other business services.
Cannabis Psychosis, Aggression, and Paranoia
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Studies show that getting high on marijuana produces feelings of depersonalization, irrational panic, auditory hallucinations, and feeling intimidated, persecuted, and/or paranoid. These often lead to violence and aggression. There have been a number of high-profile cases of aggression associated with marijuana use.
Pot smokers are three times more likely to experience a psychotic disorder than those who have never used cannabis. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and paranoia are mental health disorders that have a strong connection with cannabis. It is known that a large number of people with schizophrenia meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder.
Other associated mental health disorders are: Paranoid Personality Disorder, Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder, and Delusional Disorder. It is also related to increased symptom severity and violence in PTSD patients.
Today’s more potent marijuana results in a greater risk for paranoia and psychosis. This increased risk points to the fact that using marijuana is directly associated with violence and aggression.
If cannabis becomes legal under federal law, those who use it are likely to use it more frequently. This will logically bring about an increase in paranoia, psychosis, and aggression in society at large.
The real question is: Do you think marijuana should be legalized and are we, as a society, ready for the consequences if it is?
There is help and hope for those suffering from substance use disorders. Now is a great time to reach out for help.