Friday, February 24, 2017

Thoughts on Marijuana

It is interesting to me how some topics seem to rise up in our public consciousness, and the conversations, opinions and perceptions seem to move at quite a rapid pace. One of these recently is the issue of marijuana.
Increasingly, marijuana has become a topic of conversation in both my professional and social circles. From the still controversial issue of medical cannabis use, to the pros and cons of the movement toward legal recreational marijuana, there are no shortage of opinions.

I have read and heard a wide range of opinions. I read recently in the Washington Post that approval of legalization of marijuana is leading the polls in every state in which it appears on the ballot in November. The City of East Lansing, MI, recently passed an ordinance decriminalizing the use and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, mirroring what has been done in numerous other locations. However, these actions may run counter to Federal and State laws, and attempts to move marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs recently failed, so clearly the conversation is a fluid one.

In more casual conversations, I have had people, both professionals and non-professionals alike, express to me their thoughts. These range from thoughts that legalization is inevitable and the correct move, to objections on both moral and public health related grounds.

The August 2016 Counselor Magazine had an interesting and thorough article on Cannabis Dependence that addressed some of these issues, including the fact that the cannabis of today is much more powerful than that of years past.

All of this leads me to this question: as ADE continues to work on developing new and useful assessment tools, what should we be asking about marijuana? What is important to you in terms of understanding marijuana use by your clients. Feel free to leave your feedback, we value your opinions.

Jim Haggerty

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