There is a lot of stigma surrounding the infamous drug, marijuana. Most of this stigma is based on the stereotypical “stoner”, the one that sits at home all days and eats potato chips. But as early research is showing, marijuana has a lot more potential than just being a “lazy-drug”. Research has shown that marijuana can dramatically help those who are struggling with anxiety and insomnia and can help some forms of seizures. But one of the biggest obstacles for the exploration and treatment of marijuana is the stigma that surrounds the drug.
This is exemplified in the case of Dianne Fulkerson, who has suffered from anxiety and insomnia most of her adult life. After struggling with her anxiety and many nights of restless sleep, she was encouraged by her daughter to try using marijuana to help her. The first night she used THC infused brownies to go to bed, she got 5 hours of sleep, which is far more than she had been getting before. She also reported that after using marijuana for over a month, she has been able to maintain a regular sleep schedule. She has also reported a decrease in the anxiety that she used to experience before using marijuana. For the first time in ages Diane Fulkerson experienced, “four hours of consecutive sleep” and “it became a life changer for me”.
This is one of the important reasons for the legalization of marijuana that is often overlooked. The legalization of medical marijuana is a great step in the right direction, as it could significantly increase the quality of life in so many Americans that suffer from insomnia and anxiety. When most people think about the legalization of marijuana they think about the recreational use, but they don’t take into account the numerous benefits that medical marijuana has, and surely more to discover.
But of course, there is the recreational side of the legalization as well. So far in the states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, there has been no recorded increase in motor vehicle crashes in these states. The American Public Health Association (APHA) has conducted research on this topic, using the states where legalized marijuana as the experimental states and 8 other control states to test whether the legalization of marijuana has affected the vehicle crash rates in those legalized states.
After a year or testing and collecting data, they have concluded that they are 95% that the fatality crash rates have not increased or decreased in those legalized states. Meaning that so far there has been no recorded difference in the driving fatality rates in these states with legalized marijuana. This is a good evidence for the legalization of marijuana, as one of the major concerns with legalization is the potential danger to the consumers and impairing their ability to drive. This is convincing evidence that the legalization of marijuana shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the auto fatality rates.
In conclusion, there are a lot of medical uses of marijuana that could drastically improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. More studies must be conducted to make our studies more accurate, but there is convincing evidence so far that the legalization of marijuana has no significant effect on the driving fatality rates. This doesn’t mean that driving high is safe, but that there has been no significant recorded difference in the legalized states and the control states. Only time will be able to tell if the legalization of marijuana is something that the US should pursue, but the benefits are seemingly outweighing the risks so far from early studies.