Tags Posts tagged with "decriminalizing"

decriminalizing

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Texas is one step closer to eradicating the criminal penalties associated with minor marijuana possession. The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee recently put its seal of approval on a proposal (House Bill 81) that would allow police all over the state to simply slap those people caught in possession of up to an ounce of weed with a small fine instead of dragging them to jail. The state currently deems this offense a Class B misdemeanor, which carries the potential for marijuana offenders to serve up to six months behind bars.

To ensure the proposal made its way through the first phase of the legislative process, Representative Joe Moody, who also Chairs the committee, was forced to amend the language in a manner that allows judges the right to hit habitual pot offenders with a Class C misdemeanor. Moody stated, “If you’re going to be a frequent customer, you will be moved into the criminal arena.” The proposal is now set to go before the Calendars Committee, which has the power to decide if the measure will get a fair shot in front of the full House.

The bad news is that one of the “No” votes came from Republican Todd Hunter, who just so happens to oversee the Calendars Committee. Therefore, it is distinctly possible that his prejudice toward the bill could stop it from being heard on the House floor altogether. However, marijuana advocates hope that Hunter will leave his personal opinions out of this debate and do the right thing.

Heather Fazio, a spokesperson for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy stated, “The state’s current policy of arresting and jailing people for simple marijuana possession is completely unwarranted. Law enforcement officials’ time and limited resources would be better spent addressing serious crimes. No one should be saddled with a lifelong criminal record simply for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol.”

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Recently the governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner passed a law pertaining to reductions in the criminal penalties for minor marijuana offenses. Before, those who were convicted of cannabis possession went up against potential jail time; now, just a civil warning along with a fine. As documented by the New England Journal of Medicine, there is an inverse correlation between the perceived dangers of marijuana and the incidence of those who chose to use it. Plainly put, the people who capitalize on minor risk view cannabis, the more likely they are to use – and abuse – it.

For example, sales taxes generated from legal marijuana sales in states like Colorado and Washington. Since those states have legalized recreational marijuana use, the view on its risk have become more laxed, and the amount of its use has increased substantially. Too, have car related accidents due to marijuana use. In reference to investigative studies conducted by AAA, marijuana-related traffic deaths in Washington state have gone up since pot was legalized there. To start, marijuana cultivators have continually grown marijuana to increase its strength with a higher THC count.

Currently, the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)., which is the psychoactive component that gives you the feeling of being under the influence has increased by 22 times compared with cannabis strains that were available back in the 1960s. However often referred to as being benign, the New England Journal of Medicine has documented potential negative impacts of marijuana use on brain functioning. It should come as no shocker that cannabis use is tough to be in correlation to not performing well at both school and work.

Marijuana users experience higher dropout rates though these are not proven facts and lower academic achievement still more opinions formed by observation. Marijuana advocates often argue that it is not addictive because it’s not. As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 9 percent of people who experiment with marijuana will become addicted to it…still not facts just opinion formed from observation In our American culture, we laugh when Hollywood lampoons potheads in movies such as “Pineapple Express” and “Dude, Where’s My Car?” But, at TheAbbey Addiction Treatment Center in Bettendorf, we see the faces of marijuana addicts first hand. Put another way, just because you can use pot medically or recreationally, it doesn’t mean you always should….said pot advocate ever!

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Everybody knows that the number of states throughout the U.S. is decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. In addition to that, more medical studies are being conducted in order to understand the full effects of marijuana. The latest study was taken place in Germany, where scientists studied the effects of marijuana on 30 patients with ADHD who did not have much success with treatments such as Adderall and Ritalin.

100% of the patients reported “improved concentration and sleep” as well as “reduced impulsivity” after using medical marijuana, according to the report. Other results show that 22 of the patients decided to stop using any medication that they were previously prescribed and completely switched over to medical marijuana to help with their conditions.

Although a small group was tested, this study gives insight into some of the first data of the potential that cannabis has in treated ADHD, “which, as we know, is characterized by difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and forgetfulness.” Dr. David Bearman is a cannabinoidologist and specializes specifically in research on the effects of marijuana. Here he explains how marijuana can play a significant role in treating ADHD-related symptoms due to dopamine levels:

“Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine. This then has the same effect but is a different mechanism of action than stimulants like Ritalin and Dexedrine amphetamine, which act by binding to the dopamine and interfering with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine.”

In other words, cannabinoids may equalize dopamine levels in the brain for people who have ADHD. At the moment, only two states (California and Colorado) allow for medical marijuana to be prescribed to treat ADHD, but if studies such as this one continue to be released, that number may very well expand

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