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Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.

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10-31 Colorado’s stance on marijuana legalization

Posted in addiction, Drug abuse, Drug addiction, Prescription drug abuse by Rachael - 0 Comments
Colorado’s stance on marijuana legalization

Colorado legalized marijuana use three years ago. Under the law, an adult aged 21 years and above can legally possess and consume marijuana. However, Amendment 64, the Colorado Marijuana Legalization Amendment, does not permit public consumption of marijuana. In 2012, Colorado approved recreational marijuana but retained its medical marijuana framework and treated the recreational products just as an added feature.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the “high” one gets from marijuana. It is responsible for most of the marijuana’s psychological effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) is responsible for reducing nausea, suppressing seizures and combatting inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders, among others. It also helps in reducing the intoxicating effect of THC.

Medical marijuana and Colorado

As per the Colorado Medical Marijuana Law, medical marijuana can help treat illnesses like nausea, glaucoma, seizures, chronic pain, cancer, cachexia, chronic nervous system disorders, HIV or AIDS and persistent muscle spasms. The law allows a person to possess 2 ounces of usable marijuana. It also allows the patients or their primary caregivers (18 years or above) to cultivate no more than six marijuana plants in their homes.

Although Colorado is a marijuana pioneer, the state does not qualify post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for marijuana use. However, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, studies performed outside the United States have found that marijuana can relieve some PTSD symptoms. As medical marijuana is half the price of recreational marijuana, people suffering from PTSD would have to pay a higher fee for using marijuana for their illness.

Concern over increased potency of THC

In the last couple of decades, the average THC content in confiscated marijuana has dramatically increased. As per National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in the early 1990s, the average THC content in confiscated cannabis samples was roughly 3.7 percent. Whereas, in 2013, the average THC content was 9.6 percent. As per the samples collected from pot seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from 1995 to 2014, there was an increase in THC content from 4 percent to 12 percent. The increasing levels of THC have hit inexperienced users the hardest.

Although Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, there are no regulations in Colorado that limit the THC levels. As per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, emergency room visits for marijuana-related incidents has consistently increased. Another study also found that for Colorado residents, the marijuana-related emergency room (ER) visits saw a 44 percent increase. According to medical experts, regular marijuana users can develop a tolerance to THC, leading to consumption of more drugs to achieve the desired effect over time.

November elections: Turning point in marijuana legalization

The November elections of 2016 would witness legalization of marijuana in several states across the U.S. The movement to legalize marijuana would take a huge leap if California, along with four other states, allows recreational cannabis use. As per the projections made by ArcView Group, a San Francisco-based investor network, if the law is passed in California, the market for medical and recreation marijuana is projected to grow from $7 billion to $22 billion this year itself. The law, if passed, would also lead to an increase in tax collection and reduction in drug arrests.

While the nation has seen a growth in the number of people supporting legalizing marijuana, there has been strong opposition as well. A number of studies cite marijuana’s harmful effects on fetus, adolescents and cardiovascular system.

Help at hand

Long-term marijuana use may lead to changes in brain structure that can lead to psychological dependence and addiction. Medically used for treating chronic pain and many other illnesses, disadvantages of marijuana often override its health benefits.

If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drug, it is time to reach out for professional support and treatment. Contact the Colorado Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline to find the best prescription abuse treatment centers in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915 or chat online with our experts to know about the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Colorado.