UNITED STATES—There have been massive strides with medicine in relation to how the drug marijuana has helped with ailments. As a nation, I feel we are forgetting that marijuana is not a drug that should be used for pure pleasure and is not a harmless drug as so many people would like to argue. In a previous column, I addressed the issue of how marijuana is utilized as a gateway drug that is not as innocent as some people think.

Now, we’re in a society where more and more states are passing laws permitting the usage and possession of marijuana for those with medical ailments. We are even seeing more pop-up medical dispensaries opening in major cities across the nation. As much as I understand the purpose of these establishments, it does unfortunately open the doors for criminals who might be looking to sell the drug for profit.

For the good that has been developed from research on marijuana, it seems we have a nation of people who are more interested to utilize the drug for recreational use, to get behind the wheel impaired, not to mention combining marijuana use with alcohol and other drugs. I know so many adults who talk about marijuana as if it’s no big deal. It’s like a rite of passage for an adult to acknowledge that he or she smoked weed. I find it troubling because just what type of message are we sending to our youth? Well, marijuana is bad, but it’s not as bad as cocaine or LSD, I mean come on. This drug causes people to eat as if the world is ending, they become addicted, they refuse to get off the couch and it gets even worse when people get into dire straits and do everything they possibly can to get hold of the drug.

The problem so many people refuse to acknowledge about marijuana is that it’s a very addictive drug. People who start to dabble with it are unable to cut it loose. To make matters worse, they become immune to the everyday functions in life. There are certain things one can’t just dispose of as if it no longer matters. People act as if the smell of marijuana is something beautiful and refreshing. Listen, marijuana stinks, plain and simple; it’s not something people want to smell on other people, yet alone in their own home or in their neighborhood.

I’m still trying to grasp in my mind how marijuana can be legal in most US states, yet according to federal law it’s still illegal. Last time I checked, I was almost certain federal law stumps state or city law on any given day. This raises the all-important question of why we’re not taking into consideration the prohibition of such a drug.

I guess the slippery slope is the fact that it has been proven to assist in treating people suffering from certain forms of cancer and other medical illnesses doctor’s haven’t quite gotten a hold on. I mean alcohol became such a problem in the early 1900s that it was prohibited and then repealed.

I feel if we ever had a constitutional amendment against the drug, we’d have so many criminals and organizations running rampant to produce the drug, the nation might incite World War III without even knowing it. We need to acknowledge that marijuana is a drug that has more of an impact on people and society than we’d like to give it credit for. It’s not a harmless drug, it’s a drug that has more domino effects than others can imagine.