Marijuana appears to be on an unprecedented U.S. legalization march.

New York and New Jersey are planning to join the 10 states now legalizing marijuana use for recreational purposes. Around 65% of Americans are in favor of legalization, and several future Democratic presidential candidates are in favor of ending federal cannabis prohibitions.

While most Americans don’t use the drug, this massive shift in public views comes. According to a large federal study, only 15% of people over 12 used it even once in 2017. Just three million people first tried it that year.

Having extensive research in peer-reviewed publications showing that cannabis increases the risk of depression and schizophrenia, the scientific literature on the drug is much more negative than it was 20 years ago. The difference is made apparent by comparing two major studies from the National Academy of Medicine, the non-profit agency advising the federal government on health and medicine.

Researchers need to do much further research to understand why marijuana could cause psychosis and the connection’s intensity. But the influence of these new usage trends is already being seen by hospitals. According to the Federal Health Research and Quality Agency, in 2006, emergency rooms saw 30,000 cases of people diagnosed with schizophrenia or marijuana-use disorder? the clinical term for drug abuse or addiction. The figure tripled to 90,000 by 2014.

Federal studies also show that rates of serious mental illness are increasing at the national level, with the sharpest rise among people 18 to 25, who are also the most likely to use marijuana. Surveys and hospital statistics are unable to confirm that cannabis has caused an increase in depression across the population, but they do provide compelling facts.

Most people are arrested for possession of marijuana, but very few are jailed. In 2013, the most recent year for which this data is available, California announced that only 441 of its 134,000 inmates were imprisoned for all offenses related to marijuana. When convictions for possession of marijuana are a major concern for racial justice, the remedy is to decriminalize possession, converting it into a littering offense.


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