Also called cannabis, weed, and hemp, marijuana is an herb used for recreation and medicinal purposes. Some people smoke it to relax and unwind while others use it to ease symptoms of debilitating diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. The movement to legalize marijuana has been going on for the past two decades.
Proponents of legalizing pot say that it is less harmful or dangerous than tobacco or alcohol. However, one of the main reasons why people want to legalize marijuana is because of its medicinal properties. Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce nausea and relieve pain for people with various illnesses, including cancer. It is a great pain reliever for neuropathic pain. Proponents of medical marijuana want it to be legal for decisions about the drug for medical use to belong to the patient and the doctors.
But not everyone agrees with the legalization of marijuana. Those who oppose the movement say that weed is a gateway drug, and that legalizing it for medical reasons may trick teenagers into believing it is safe to use. According to the New York Times, weed use has increased among teens in the last 30 years. Critics of legalizing pot also say that research proves the drug is harmful to the body and increases the risk of developing emotional, memory, and learning disorders, and that there are plenty of safe medications that can be used for the same reasons.
Today, medical marijuana is legal in 16 states, including California, and the District of Columbia. While medical marijuana is legal in the Golden State and available at various LA Dispensaries, federal law is at odds with state laws. This means the feds can raise the dispensaries at any time.