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The federal government, via the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), still classifies marijuana (cannabis) products as Schedule I controlled substances. This classification means that the DEA considers cannabis products to have no known medicinal value and to be extremely dangerous potential drugs of abuse that can result in the development of physical or psychological dependence. This is in spite of the recent legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and even recreational use in many states and many upcoming ballot decisions addressing these issues.
In addition, there is research to suggest that cannabis products do have some useful medicinal uses, although they are not the panacea that many supporters of the legalization of cannabis products claim.
Even though cannabis products may have some medicinal uses, this does not preclude them from also being potential drugs of abuse. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has developed diagnostic criteria for cannabis use disorder (a substance use disorder as a result of the use of cannabis products), intoxication from cannabis products, and withdrawal from cannabis products. While the discrepancy between the federal and state stipulations regarding the legalization and medicinal utility of marijuana may continue for some time, it is clear that many states will most likely allow both the medical and recreational use of marijuana within a very short time. How this affects the number of marijuana users from state to state remains to be seen.
However, because it is recognized that there is a legitimate substance use disorder that can result from the misuse of cannabis products, it is important to spotlight the potential downside of use of this drug. Financial burdens associated with regular cannabis use, even in states where it is legal, should be considered to be a potential downside of the increased availability of cannabis products.
Spending large sums of money or spending too much money on any drug is not a diagnostic sign of a substance use disorder per APA; however, some of the associated ramifications of dysfunctional use of cannabis products could serve as signals that one is spending too much money on the drug and in effect using too much of it. Some of these potential indicators include:
There are also direct financial indicators that one may be spending too much money on marijuana. Types of financial issues that should signal one has been spending too much money on marijuana include:
A sign that one has been spending too much money on marijuana products that often occurs in hindsight is the need to get treatment to stop using marijuana. Any individual who has been diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder as a result of their marijuana use has been spending too much money on marijuana or other cannabis products. Any individual who has trouble controlling their use of marijuana is most likely spending too much money on the drug. If this is the case, it’s important to get professional help.
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