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President Obama’s Opinion on Marijuana: Helpful to the Discussion or Harmful to Recovery?

president conversation on marijuanaAs a treatment facility for dually-diagnosed mental illness and substance use disorders, the recent stories on national news stations regarding the President’s comments that marijuana is ‘no less harmful than alcohol’ have led to some interesting discussions over the past few days.

It goes without saying that we consider any inappropriate substance use to be unhealthy and problematic, whether it be in the form of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drug, or other illicit substance. But given the fact that this story is making national news, and in light of recent state decisions to legalize marijuana, we felt that the timing was right to open up the discussion.

Regardless of your political position, or your thoughts on whether or not marijuana should be legalized, we’d like to hear your opinion on whether this national conversation is helpful in opening up discussions about substance abuse, or harmful to the recovery efforts of individuals.

There is an ongoing debate over the fairness of lifelong implications for a single drug conviction that may have occurred years before, and how these convictions tend to hit the poorest communities hardest. While that issue is fueling the debate over whether to decriminalize marijuana possession, the other issue that the media doesn’t seem to be addressing is that this topic is now dinner-table conversation. There is no avoiding, no hiding our heads and ignoring the facts any longer: marijuana is beginning to be seen as a mainstream substance, similar in nature to alcohol, and will continue to be an ever-present issue in our communities. With that shift in thinking for a growing percentage of Americans, our question to you is: do you think this is helpful to those dealing with addiction, since there is less of a stigma attached, or do you think this makes it worse for those in recovery who are trying to avoid these substances?

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