While many people use it recreationally, medicinal marijuana is increasing, with 20 U.S. states allowing it and Colorado and Washington State allowing recreational use as well. Meanwhile, pot is still illegal under federal law. Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), recently spoke to a group in Portland, Oregon, voicing his displeasure at the idea that states are legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Legal recreational marijuana use was rejected by Oregon voters last fall. Kerlikowske hopes that Oregon and other states keep rejecting these proposals. He believes that adults are not sending teens positive messages when they call cannabis “medicine” or when they say it’s okay to use it recreationally.
Some adults who support recreational marijuana argue they are responsible for their own choices and actions. But when marijuana is legalized it cannot be kept out of the hands of young people. “Do as I say, not as I do” may obliterate the idea that youth would be any more careful using marijuana when they see adults all around them using it.
Is Marijuana Legally Medicine?
The Federal Government has not legalized marijuana for specific health reasons. The ONDCP stresses that marijuana has never been through the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) process for deeming it a medicine. The FDA does not prove its safety or efficacy, yet some states have decided that it should be used as medicine.
The ONDCP considers marijuana a harmful drug that can potentially cause addiction in young people. Driving under the influence of marijuana can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. A 2012 survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety revealed that more drivers that were pulled over tested positive for marijuana than alcohol.
As several states begin the move to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana and a few more begin to legalize recreational marijuana, the national government voices its concerns. .