At BoardPrep Recovery Center®, we understand the complexities of addiction, and we’re here to provide you with clear, concise, and compassionate information. In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion around decriminalization vs. legalization, particularly about marijuana. This conversation is especially relevant as Florida drug rehab programs see more patients seeking help for marijuana abuse.
Navigating these discussions can be difficult, but we’re here to guide you. Contact our knowledgeable team at 866.796.4720 to learn more about decriminalization and legalization, marijuana abuse and addiction, and how we can help.
Decriminalization vs. Legalization of Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Marijuana is also called cannabis, weed, pot, and many other names. This popular drug is currently illegal in the United States and is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As such, marijuana is illegal on the federal level. However, states may choose to decriminalize or legalize marijuana on their own. Decriminalization and legalization are two separate concepts often conflated in discussions about drug policy.
Decriminalization refers to reducing legal penalties associated with the personal use of marijuana. Under decriminalization, possession, and use might still be illegal, but the consequences are significantly less severe, typically involving fines or treatment requirements rather than jail time. Decriminalization of marijuana has been the law in some states since 1973, including Alaska, Oregon, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia.
Legalization, on the other hand, removes all legal prohibitions against marijuana. This means it’s completely legal to possess, use, and sometimes even grow and sell marijuana, depending on the specific laws. Currently, 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana use, and 33 have allowed medical marijuana.
While these terms may seem similar, their implications for users, especially those struggling with marijuana abuse or addiction, are vastly different.
About Marijuana Abuse and Addiction
Marijuana abuse develops when the user depends on the drug to function or feel normal. This dependence can stem from several factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and mental health issues. The process usually begins with experimentation, which can escalate to regular use, dependence, and eventually addiction if left unchecked.
While marijuana may not be as addictive as other drugs, like opioids, it can still cause significant problems if abused. Recognizing the signs of marijuana addiction is crucial in seeking early intervention. Here are some common indicators:
- Increased tolerance to marijuana
- Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of marijuana
- Continued use despite knowing its harmful effects
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using marijuana
- Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
- Mood swings
- Changes in sleep habits
- Lack of motivation
Suppose you or a loved one exhibit any of these signs. In that case, it’s essential to seek professional help immediately—particularly if you live in a state where marijuana is decriminalized or legalized, like Florida.
Find a Drug Rehab Program in Florida at BoardPrep Recovery Center®
At BoardPrep Recovery Center®, we specialize in providing evidence-based, individualized care for those struggling with addiction. Our comprehensive services range from detoxification to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy. We understand that each individual’s journey to recovery is unique. That’s why our knowledgeable team is committed to creating a safe, inclusive environment where you can focus on healing. Our team of specialists and professionals is ready to help you reclaim your life from addiction.
Taking the first step toward addiction recovery can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to us at BoardPrep Recovery Center® today at 866.796.4720. Your journey to addiction recovery starts here.