Adults can also turn on without a prescription in Alaska, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Vermont, and Oregon. The first place where your legal pot comes from is officially a mystery. The threat of federal enforcement created a significant barrier to establishing clearly defined legal access to medical marijuana. Another important consideration for interpreting the findings when evaluating the effects of legalization is the basic policy in place prior to legalization.
Within states with legalized dispensaries, adults who use marijuana for medicinal purposes are significantly more likely to vaporize it or consume edibles than people who use it for recreational purposes (Pacula et al. A concern here is whether the federal government would be violating international law if it legalized marijuana. By carefully considering the specifics of legalization statutes in the context of existing state policies, researchers have increased the scope to determine the mechanisms that are most important in influencing marijuana use among different populations. Preliminary evidence from Colorado and Washington shows that commercial legalization has significantly reduced perceived harm and disapproval of marijuana use (Kosterman et al.
Excessive reliance on the use of prevalence measures as a result of interest in previous work is largely a consequence of limited data availability, but as legal markets for marijuana develop, there is an urgent need to evaluate alternative measures of use that are more relevant to understanding potential damage. In general, marijuana is a relatively safe drug, certainly less harmful than some of the drugs that are legal today, and potentially beneficial to the health of some people through its medical use. As marijuana concentrates and infused products have captured an increasing share of legal retail sales, regulations have had to be expanded. Legalization eliminates criminal and monetary penalties for possession, use and supply of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Critics of legalization also claim that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that can lead people to try more dangerous drugs such as cocaine and heroin, because there is a correlation between marijuana use and the use of harder drugs. Opponents of legalization worry that fully allowing recreational use of marijuana would make marijuana too accessible and, as a result, expand its use and misuse. The District of Columbia is the only legalized jurisdiction in the United States that does not allow the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Therefore, the vast majority of states in the United States have moved away from a strict prohibition position towards marijuana long before they began to consider absolute legalization.
And while marijuana isn't as risky as these other legal drugs, it still poses risks, notably, the possibility of addiction. The effects of these policies on marijuana use and use disorders will be determined by how the design and implementation of the legal regulatory framework influences market structure, price and availability, and perceptions of risk and social approval.