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Rising marijuana usage in Phoenix

Published On: 07-16-2015 in Category: Addiction Treatment, Recovery, Treatment Centers

rising marijuana use phoenix

Marijuana is the most widely used drug in the state of Arizona. During the past decade, Arizona ended up becoming the “gateway” for drug trafficking, particularly marijuana, into the U.S. from Mexico. Furthermore, the drug is also cultivated in the state itself in houses or other facilities. By 2009, drug seizures in Arizona accounted for approximately 50 percent of all marijuana captured along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Earlier this year, a petition campaign for legalizing marijuana was launched in Phoenix that might result in Arizona becoming the fifth U.S. state to allow possession, cultivation and consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes. Arizona is one of the five states alongside California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine being targeted by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) for putting ballot initiatives for the recreational use of pot on the 2016 ballot.

The MPP was founded in 1995 in Washington D.C. aiming towards legally-regulated marijuana, similar to alcohol, in order to encourage an education and non-coercive treatment for marijuana addicts.

Arizona is already one of the 23 U.S. states that have legalized medical marijuana. According to election officials, supporters have until July of next year to collect the signatures of 150,642 registered voters to get their initiative included on the November 2016 ballot. This proposal will allow adults 21 and older to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from a state-sanctioned retail outlet. Furthermore, they will also be permitted to grow and cultivate up to six plants of marijuana at home without a license. The state is expected to earn a significant tax revenue, proceedings from which will be directed towards regulation costs, public health and education initiatives.

As per the Arizona Bill, a tax worth $50 would be imposed on every ounce of marijuana sold. According to the estimates by the state Joint Legislative Budget Committee, taxes worth $48 million would be generated annually.

So far Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes in their states. This has paved way for the stigma associated with marijuana to gradually wear thin. Perceptions related to the risks of marijuana use have considerably altered, especially those of teenagers, as the public debate about the legalization and loosening restrictions on marijuana has progressed.

This population increase in favor of the legalization of marijuana is essentially tied to the notion that marijuana is not addictive. According to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), around 90 percent of adults and 84 percent of teens believe it is not.

On the contrary, research by NIH suggests that about one in 11 users have the potential to become addicted to marijuana. This number is higher among those who started abusing marijuana as teenagers and among individuals who consumed it daily. A study from Current Addictions Report printed in 2014 established a link between the recreational use of marijuana and considerable brain abnormalities in young adults. The study discovered that regular pot use, defined as weekly usage, can result in cognitive disturbance, lower IQ and poor attention and memory.

For many opponents, the legalization of marijuana is nothing but a step towards the legalization of drugs.

Drug abuse in America has been steadily increasing. A survey by NIH indicated that this increase largely reflects a recent rise in the consumption of marijuana. In 2012, there were 18.9 million users—about 7.3 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.4 million (5.8 percent) in 2007. On the other hand, the use of most drugs other than marijuana had either not considerably increased over the past decade or just declined.

At the Phoenix Drug Treatment and Rehab Center, our main focus is you. Every treatment program that we offer is perfectly customized to the patient. We fully understand how stressful this process can be, which is why we work hard to ensure that we have the best support for our clients in every way possible. For questions or details, please call us at 480-696-5152.

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