2015: Where We Stand With Weed

*Disclaimer: This article does not represent the views of Her Campus FSU.

4/20 was this past week. Everyone knows what that means, but are you fully aware of all that has been legalized, decriminalized or the recent scientific findings?  It may sway your opinion a bit.

18 States have decriminalized Marijuana:

Decriminalized typically means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

·      Alaska

·      California

·      Colorado

·      Connecticut

·      District of Columbia

·      Maine

·      Maryland

·      Massachusetts

·      Minnesota

·      Mississippi

·      Nebraska

·      Nevada

·      New York

·      North Carolina

·      Ohio

·      Oregon

·      Rhode Island

·      Vermont

Whether you’re for or against the plant, here are some things that may come as news to you:

Recent Research

Oral Cannabis Extracts Associated With Seizure Control In Children

“Researchers from the Colorado Children's Hospital in Denver performed a retrospective chart review of 75 children who had been provided with cannabis extracts. Authors reported that 57 percent of subjects showed some level of improvement in seizure control while 33 percent reported a greater than 50 percent reduction in seizure frequency. Researchers also reported "improved behavior/alertness" in one-third of subjects and improved motor skills in ten percent of treated patients.”

Vaporized Cannabis Mitigates Treatment-Resistant Diabetic Neuropathy

"At least 10 randomized controlled trials, lasting for more than 1000 patients, have demonstrated efficacy of different types of cannabinoids for diverse forms of neuropathic pain."

Colorado: Marijuana Charges Down More Than 90 Percent Since 2010

"The change in the composition of arrests demonstrates the extent to which legal distribution has replaced illicit distribution."

Inhaled Cannabis Relieves Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

“Researchers reported that inhaled cannabis was associated with "significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores. No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed."”

Perceived Risk Of Marijuana Use Influenced By Gender, Age, Household Income

“Among all respondents, those perceiving "great risk" from cannabis fell significantly in recent years, from 51 percent in 2002 to 40 percent in 2012. Among female respondents, 47 percent perceived cannabis use to be risky in 2012, down from 59 percent in 2002.”

Colorado: Marijuana Sales Total $700 Million in 2014

“Commenting on the tax totals, Democrat state Senator Pat Steadman of Denver said that he is "very encouraged by what we're seeing so far. Everyone keeps calling this 'Colorado's experiment with marijuana legalization,' but so far everything seems to be working better than planned. ... Right now we're still rolling things out, but it just seems to be rolling out smoother than anyone expected."”

I decided to interview two of my close friends who both smoke regularly, and who amazingly still have their lives together just fine; above 3.0 GPAs, jobs, physical, and mental health. Here are their answers:

Friend #1

Age 22

HC: When was the first time you tried weed?

A: My freshman year of high school.

HC: When did it start becoming a regular activity?

A: About two and a half years ago.

HC: What does it make you feel like?

A: It just takes a little edge off life, makes everything a little funnier. It makes me smile all the time and pretty chatty.

HC: Have you ever had a bad experience with it?

A: Yes!! It was terrible. I was hallucinating and freaking the f**k out. When it first hit me the world was so slow.

HC: So what made you try it again?

A: Back then I was a control freak and I feel like before I smoked I couldn’t let go of anything, caught up in what society paints as “perfect." Now I can be myself and happy.

HC: What does your family think about it?

A: Some of them are a bit hypocritical, it’s just like their glass of wine at night. So many of them like to do it themselves too, but act like they don’t. 

HC: Do you believe you can maintain a job and smoke during your free time?

A: Yeah, absolutely. I have two jobs now.

HC: Approximately how much a month do you spend on it?

A: Maybe $50.

HC: Do you believe you could quit if necessary?

A: Yes, if I had to.

HC: What are your thoughts on marijuana as a medicine as opposed to pharmaceutical drugs?

A: I’ve had really bad issues with my stomach because I’m lactose intolerant and have acid reflux - it helps way more with my pains than any medicine I’ve come across prescribe-able.

HC: Alright, now some randoms: what’s your favorite activity to do while you’re high?

A: Going hiking, anything outdoors. Nature.

H: What’s your favorite munchie?

A: French fries!

Friend #2

Age: 21

HC: When was the first time you tried weed?

A: 8th grade.

HC: When did it start becoming a regular activity?

A: Freshman year of high school.

HC: What does it make you feel like?

A: It makes me feel really relaxed. I feel more conscious and aware of things.

HC: Have you ever had a bad experience with it?

A: Yes, but only when I drank with it the first time.

HC: What does your family think about it?

A: They don’t like it only because it’s illegal.

HC: Do you believe you can maintain a job and smoke during your free time?

A: Yeah, I’m doing it right now.

HC: Approximately how much a month do you spend on it?

A: Between $20-$40.

HC: Do you believe you could quit if necessary?

A: Definitely.

HC: What are your thoughts on marijuana as a medicine as opposed to pharmaceutical drugs?

A: I feel like pharmaceutical drugs have such a scary strength with equal to or more negative effects than positive. They have way more potential to be abused. Like, if I’m hungover, no amount of Aspirin will cure my headache like weed can.

HC: Alright, now some randoms: what’s your favorite activity to do while you’re high?

A: Sitting in my hammock outside, reading.

HC: What’re your favorite munchie?

A: Chocolate peanut butter ice cream!

It’s up to you - can we have Marijuana legalized by next 4/20?