Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Potential Implications of Legalized Marijuana

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Journal Title

Psychology and Education: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Volume

53

Issue

3-4

First Page

23

Last Page

35

Abstract

The present article points out that, due to potential consequences, marijuana legalization would have a negative overall impact on U.S. citizens. We cite research showing that some marijuana users will substitute the substance for prescription psychotropic medications, addiction numbers will increase within states that legalize the substance, increased accidents are likely to occur, marijuana use will gateway to other more addictive drugs, and extended marijuana use will negatively impact job performance. We advocate that since (a) so much is yet unknown, (b) the potential consequences can be devastating, life-long, and impact thousands of individuals, and (c) once this type of law passes it is highly unlikely to be reversed, then it is best for U.S. states to exercise caution regarding legalization at present.

Keywords

Marijuana, legalization, gateway drugs, substance abuse, job performance