Marijuana’s legal status is a popular debate topic. A number of different groups, each with their own agenda, argue loudly for support from politicians and the public. It may be years before the matter is settled and the result will shape the economic, political, social and medical future of our country in ways that may be hard to predict.
Many of the questions that come up in discussions about legalizing cannabis are beyond the scope of my expertise as a counselor and therapist. However, my work with clients who struggle to break the cycle of addiction gives me both a motive and the knowledge to speak to that aspect of the issue.
Whatever arguable benefits marijuana may have, research proves that it has a negative impact on workplace behavior, mental stability, health and learning, especially in adolescents. Regular users miss work, have accidents, develop respiratory ailments suffer from memory problems and in some cases experience hallucinations and paranoia.
Like many other modern crops, the properties of marijuana have been manipulated by growers. Plants grown in the 1980s had tetrahydrocannabinal (THC) concentrations of 4%. Plants grown in 2009 had average concentrations of 10%, more than double the previous amount. THC levels are what determine the potency of the end product. When the potency increases, all the negative effects of the drug also increase, including its power to addict.
About one in ten adults and one out of six teens show a particular susceptibility to the compounds in cannabis that make it addictive. Addiction is a spiral that compels the person caught in its web to devote increasing amounts of time and money to satisfy their cravings. The addict’s resources are no longer available for healthier, more beneficial pursuits.
Breaking an addiction triggers irritability, insomnia, cravings and anxiety. Most addicts seek the help of a counselor or therapist to help them through the process. Both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Hypnotherapy have proven to be successful in helping end addiction.
If a marijuana addiction is causing problems in your life, all the big political and philosophical discussions in the world won’t change things for the better. Leave the big decisions to others. All you have to decide is to take control of your own life and health by breaking marijuana’s hold on you.