A Brief Picture of Marijuana Abuse in the US

Alaska, California, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina; people in all these states are doing it. Marijuana abuse has increased in the United States. 24 million Americans are frequent abusers of the class I drug.


22-year-old, Kristine Lewis, is one among the millions of marijuana-users in the U.S. She uses the drug as a stress reliever. “I smoke weed because I am often stressed out and after I smoke a blunt or two most of my negative thoughts leave me,” said Lewis.

Lewis’s smoking habit began at the age of 17, when she was a junior in high school after relocating to Atlanta, GA with her family. “When I first moved to Georgia, there were many drug dealers and weed abusers attending the high school I was enrolled. I kind of just fell into the lifestyle.”

Green and orange Marijuana buds, close-up


Marijuana has been proven to provide positive effects for many suffering with illnesses such as glaucoma and cancer. However, it has also proven to have negative effects on those using it recreationally. One of the negative side effects Lewis proceeded to describe is lethargy. Lewis said “When I smoke too much and get too high I get really lazy. Most times I can’t do anything for the rest of the day when I smoke that much.”

Other negative side effects of smoking marijuana include anxiety, sensory distortion, depression and more. “One day I do plan on quitting this habit I picked up. I have lost a significant amount of weight using marijuana as much as I have and I want to get back to a healthy weight. I’m not sickly or anything, I just realized I loved my curves,” said Lewis. Although marijuana has served as a mental remedy for Lewis, the drug has affected her in ways she did not expect.

Despite the negative effects the drug has had on Lewis, she supports its legalization on a national level. “I feel it should be legalized because being well over 10 different states has decriminalized the use of it and benefitted from it, why wouldn’t we make that change for the entire country? We could make more money and create more jobs with the legalization of marijuana.”

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