Marijuana—Understanding a Controlled Substance

Marijuana has received a lot of attention in the past seven years. Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado in 2012, there has been a lot of both positive and negative talk about this controlled substance. How can we better understand marijuana so that everyone’s opinions are educated?

Controlled Substance

A controlled substance is governed by law regarding use and distribution and includes both legal and illegal drugs, such as marijuana. Although marijuana has been legalized in many states for medical use, federal law still deems the substance illegal. Even though federal law still considers the use of marijuana to be illegal, it is not a priority of the government to enforce. Some outstanding circumstances cannot be overlooked, however. Keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and criminal organizations is a huge priority. Other actions that are diligently enforced include keeping marijuana out of states where its use is still illegal and stopping users from operating vehicles while under the influence of marijuana. Luckily these enforcement guidelines are the same rules that most medical marijuana programs follow.

Know the Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana has many different effects on its consumers. The use of marijuana activates receptors in the brain that release dopamine, the chemical associated with pleasure. This reaction can cause the user to feel relaxed, lightheaded and even hungry. Using marijuana with higher percentages of THC can cause negative effects for some people. Paranoia is a common negative effect, and so is impaired judgment and reduced physical coordination.

Safe Use

Whenever you decide to use marijuana, it is important to do so safely and verify its legality in your state first. Whether you are smoking the flower of the plant or consuming marijuana edibles, you should know your limits. Start with a low dosage of THC at first; consuming too much THC at one time can cause undesired effects. When eating marijuana edibles, be sure to give the product enough time to take effect before deciding to consume more. It’s also important to ensure that you’re in a safe place when you use marijuana. Please don’t attempt to drive or go anywhere when you’re experiencing the effects of THC.


There are many things that the public is still not educated on when it comes to marijuana use. Following the laws of its use is just as important as using it safely. Marijuana isn’t for everyone, but for many people, it can be a very pleasurable experience. Be safe, obey the law, and enjoy.

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