Marijuana - Now Legal, Still Dangerous?

Marijuana has long been viewed as a relatively harmless recreational drug enjoyed by thousands of Americans every day. More recently, the movement to legalize marijuana has gained momentum as more and more states pass legislation permitting the sale of marijuana for personal consumption, within reasonable parameters. This is viewed by many as a win for US citizens, but could this move be opening the floodgates and precipitating a tsunami of substance abuse cases across the country?

The potential to develop a physical dependence on marijuana has long been decried as a myth, but recent medical studies indicate that daily marijuana use can lead to physical dependence. This translates to withdrawal symptoms when the daily habit is discontinued, meaning that those who regularly partake in marijuana consumption may find it difficult or even impossible to cease their use without medical intervention and assistance. This evidence files in the face of the long-held societal belief that you can’t get “hooked” on marijuana in the same way you can become addicted to harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

By removing legal barriers to marijuana, those who are predisposed to develop substance abuse disorders, either as a result of other underlying mental health issues or simply as a byproduct of their genetics, are far more likely to be exposed to and indeed participate in the consumption of marijuana. For many teenagers, the age-old maxim that marijuana is a “gateway drug” still rings true, and the increased prevalence of marijuana use in the United States is potentially a precursor for an increase in the rate of stimulant and opiate use among this younger, at-risk population. It is therefore important to expand substance abuse education among teenagers so they are better informed as to the dangers associated with drug use.

For decades, marijuana has been viewed as a harmless way for hippies and teens to “chill out” and escape the pressure of daily life. Proponents of marijuana point to its medicinal properties, organic nature, and low addictive potential as reasons to federally legalize this drug. While the former may be true, recent studies contradict the notion that marijuana has a low addictive potential. Setting these recent revelations aside, marijuana still maintains its status as a gateway drug, often leading persons with an addictive personality to try harder substances like stimulants or opiates. If you find yourself unable to cease or even decrease your daily marijuana habit, you should seek substance abuse treatment before you make the leap to more potent intoxicants. At Evolutions, our custom-tailored treatment program will address your marijuana addiction with an appropriate level of care and therapy. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 before you are sucked deeper into the depths of addiction.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit