“There’s no evidence to my knowledge that occasional [adult] marijuana use has harmful effects. I don’t know of any scientific evidence of that,” said National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow in an interview with FiveThieryEight last Tuesday. This is a huge step in the fight for legalization because of the implication this statement has. For quite some time, many were skeptical about the negative effects marijuana could have on a person. NIDA director Volkow also stated that they acknowledge their past remarks on the issue. These past remarks include extensive campaigns to highlight the potential risks of cannabis. NIDA coming out and saying that there are no negative effects due to cannabis use will undoubtedly sway opinions on the issue.

In the article, Volkow explained that NIDA has come to a point where they need to focus more resources on studying the effects of cannabis on a human body. Volkow also explained that although there are no connections between harmful effects and occasional use, it doesn’t mean she was advocating for cannabis use. Along with this, Volkow acknowledged that a recent study showed that legalization does not increase youth usage of the drug.

Currently one of the largest obstacles that are faced with legalizing marijuana is the stigma behind it. Volkow explained that her mission now is to fix the stigma surrounding cannabis use perpetuated by the government.

Hearing these words from the head of NIDA is a very good sign. A sign that times are changing. Hopefully with continued support from government agencies and the population of the US, legalization will come sooner rather than later.

Read the whole article here.

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