The Marijuana Problem Marijuana: Is it a nearly harmless and possibly beneficial drug that can offer cash-strapped states a much-needed tax revenue boost that can fund schools, hospitals, and other important public programs? Or is it just the first well-intentioned step toward serious health problems, a steep rise in accidents and crime, and a downward spiral into addiction and unknown issues? Law enforcement officials, health and wellness professionals, politicians, and addiction scientists cannot seem to agree. In the meantime, the steady flow of states whose voters choose to legalize this dangerous mind-altering drug is growing. The Battle to Legalize Marijuana The battle to legalize marijuana has been called the modern-day equivalent to Prohibition. On December 6, 2012, Washington made history as the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Colorado followed suit four days later. In addition, over half of our states have made laws decriminalizing marijuana or making it legal for medicinal use. Despite this, marijuana remains illegal on a federal basis. Adding to this conundrum, the Justice Department has been raiding and closing down \u201clegal\u201d medical marijuana dispensaries, while President Obama has stated that there are \u201cbigger fish to fry\u201d than the recreational users in Washington and Colorado. Identifying Marijuana Addiction Even if you are not a resident of Washington or Colorado, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction to marijuana. Although advocates of the drug claim it is not addictive, substance abuse professionals know otherwise. At The Ranch PA, we see the negative impact smoking or taking marijuana has on people every day. If you suspect someone you love is getting high too much, the time to get help is now. Unlike other kinds of drugs such as heroin and alcohol, marijuana does not cause physical dependence. Instead, the addiction marijuana causes is emotional and psychological. Although people who smoke marijuana do it for the resulting euphoria, as abuse worsens, depression replaces it. Marijuana is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which means it slows the system down. People who abuse CNS depressants typically find themselves feeling depressed and anxious when not using. You or your loved one might be addicted to marijuana if: \t \tYou spend increasingly more time thinking about getting high and trying to find marijuana. \tYou are feeling down or sad more often than normal. \tYou have started procrastinating or cannot seem to find the motivation you need to get things done. \tYou forget about or ignore important obligations to family members and friends. \tYour drug use interferes with work or school. \tYou spend more time with new friends who smoke pot a lot while ignoring the ones who don\u2019t. \tOld habits such as exercise and eating right become less important. \tYou have a growing reputation problem that might include legal issues and relationship problems. \tYou have tried to quit or cut back but always find an excuse not to. If these symptoms sound familiar, the time to get help with marijuana is now. The Legality of Marijuana This infographic breaks down the massive amount of marijuana legislation that exists today, whether it be to legalize medical or recreational marijuana or just decriminalize it. In addition to exploring the differences between Washington and Colorado\u2019s legalization laws, it reveals two famously close failed attempts to legalize, and projects which states will come next. The two legal states will be making billions of dollars in extra revenue \u2014 and depending what happens federally, the national government could tap into this taxable substance as well. Despite the relatively low monetary health cost per marijuana user when compared to those who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, there is a marijuana arrest every 42 seconds in the United States. Regardless of its legality, marijuana addiction can be a very serious problem that may grow as other states begin to legalize the substance. Marijuana users can quickly become very dependent on the drug and individuals struggling with addiction should seek inpatient rehab treatment. Alcoholism is a great example of the dangers that can come from abusing a legal substance. As a rehab center, it\u2019s important to remain educated and look at the facts of our nation\u2019s changing legal system as we seek to better serve our clients. The Ranch PA is committed to helping people overcome marijuana addiction no matter how laws change over time.