Green Energy of a Different Strain: Why So Many People Are Looking Into Legal Marijuana
In November 2012, Initiative 502 passed with almost 56 percent of the vote. While the measure did not “legalize” marijuana, it did significantly rework Washington’s laws on the subject and basically grants immunity to people who possess less than one ounce of marijuana, or around fifty joints. Initiative 502 did not so much change the law as it allowed the law to keep up with changing public opinions, and emerging scientific facts, about marijuana use. Thanks to the legal and social changes, hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians are now wondering if marijuana is right for them.
Obtaining high-quality product from a reputable source to satisfy this curiosity is sometimes an issue. That’s why businesses such as sparketrnr.com fill such an important need in Port Angeles and other Washington communities. The store offers a wide range of cannabis products for purchase both at the physical location on Front Street and through a secure online portal. Read on to discover some of the benefits of marijuana.
In many ways, cannabis use is part of an overall movement away from artificially-produced drugs and towards natural alternatives, because on the whole (and this includes marijuana), natural medicines have fewer side-effects than artificial ones. For example, marijuana is a lot less addictive than opioid pain pills, and arguably does a better job. Some general benefits include:
- Glaucoma: Researchers first discovered this benefit back in the 1970s. Marijuana smoke reduces pressure inside the eye, slowing the disease’s progression and possibly preventing more serious symptoms, such as blindness.
- Epilepsy: The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in cannabinoids directly affects the brain cells which regulate both relaxation and excitability, thus giving epilepsy patients more of a happy medium that is easier on their brains.
- Chemotherapy: Pain, nausea, and loss of appetite are some of the most common chemotherapy side-effects, and marijuana addresses all three of these areas.
- PTSD: THC also reduces anxiety, which helps stop the runaway fear and heightened awareness that plague many Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patients. THC also helps patients relax and obtain more benefits from other therapy forms. In fact, the Veterans Administration has tentatively endorsed marijuana treatments for at least some PTSD patients.
Other medical benefits, although the evidence is not quite as solid, include treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer.
Recreational marijuana use has many opponents, but it has many personal and societal benefits as well. Some of them include:
- Improved Creativity: Many people who use mild hallucinogens report that the substance expands their minds outside their own lather-rinse-repeat existences. That’s especially nice for writers, musicians, and other artists who often feel pressure to come up with the “next big thing.”
- Enhanced Senses: One reason some marijuana users get the “munchies” is that food simply tastes better. Moreover, they feel the texture, like every crackle and crisp.
- A Temporary Reprieve: We all need a break from time to time, and many of us turn to extremely unhealthy substances or habits to get that reprieve. While not without side-effects, marijuana is much, much safer than alcohol, drugs, or even tobacco.
Marijuana is also a good way to either spend time with friends or be by yourself, so it’s ideal for people who want solitude and people who crave more social interaction.
Generally, marijuana is quite inexpensive on the West Coast and gets progressively more expensive as one moves east, so in Washington, marijuana is cost competitive with alcohol, e-cigarettes, tobacco cigarettes, opioid pain relievers, and other mild mood-altering substances.
Many stores sell marijuana in eighth-ounce increments, which is about enough to roll seven joints, depending on how they’re made. In most places along the coast, these increments sell for about $30 or $40, depending on the grade of marijuana. Weed is usually even less expensive in bulk, so it’s usually a good idea to try a particular strain, see how it affects you, and then buy more. Many health insurance companies will cover at least part of the cost.
Remember that legal immunity only applies to one ounce or less, so do not go crazy at the marijuana store. Most clerks will remind you about this limit. Furthermore, it is still illegal to use marijuana in most public places and drive under the influence of marijuana, so do not go crazy on your way home either.
When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, some people predicted that the state’s marijuana retail outlets would attract all manner of “undesirables” and quickly become a blight in their respective neighborhoods.
But for the most part, the opposite is true. Most all marijuana stores in Colorado and elsewhere are clean, well-lit, and secure places where people can get good advice and make thoughtful decisions about their purchases. That’s especially a big plus for first time medical marijuana users, who may have little or no knowledge about the different effects of different strains and are understandably hesitant about the purchase process.
More Americans than ever view both recreational and medicinal marijuana use as acceptable.
Medical marijuana approval is particularly high. A stunning 93 percent of respondents believe that marijuana is safer than prescription opioid pain relievers. Moreover, most patients who have tried both say that marijuana is also more effective than prescription pain pills. So, it is little wonder that many doctors prefer to prescribe marijuana over opioids to their patients who deal with chronic or intense pain.
Recreational approval is not as universal, but it is moving in that direction. Just as medical marijuana benefits from the dangers of opioids, recreational marijuana benefits from the dangers of alcohol and tobacco. Both these substances are potentially lethal, but no one has ever suffered the same fate from a joint, and no one ever will.
After spending such a long time in the shadows, marijuana is now available for people with legitimate medical or recreational needs. There are so many reasons to use this natural herb, and so many different choices available, that the best approach is to take a few dollars, and a doctor’s prescription if necessary, to a local marijuana retailer, and try some for yourself.
About the Author
Jane Doe, who currently lives in Spokane, is a recovering lawyer, full-time writer, and longtime medical marijuana patient. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and understanding with other marijuana seekers.