As times change and each generation sheds new taboos, some things become socially acceptable that might not have been a few years earlier. This is certainly true of marijuana. Though still illegal in most states, it is a common reference in pop culture and increasingly viewed as innocuous. While it may not have the addictive potential or physical danger of harder drugs, it is still far from harmless.
According to the Chicago Tribune, some counties in Illinois will have the option of potentially legalizing marijuana, but until then, everybody should be aware of the reasons it is not as innocuous as it may seem. The following three are reasons enough to stay away from cannabis.
1. Possession is still a crime
Many people seem to forget that possession of marijuana is, in fact, still a crime in Illinois. Though laws have changed to decriminalize possession of small amounts in the state, this is still punishable by a fine and can result in a record that could impact your future and opportunities. An arrest for a larger amount of marijuana is still likely to result in jail time, fines and a criminal record.
2. Law enforcement can arrest you for DUI
Did you know that dabbling with marijuana can land you with a DUI charge, too? You might not realize it, but driving while high constitutes driving under the influence. If you take a blood test that indicates marijuana use, you could find yourself convicted of a DUI — even if you do not have any cannabis on you at the time of your arrest.
3. You can get into harder drugs
Perhaps the most pertinent reason to avoid marijuana is the potential it has to lead to other drug use. Though many people tend to dismiss this, it is true that marijuana use often precedes use of other harder, more dangerous drugs. If you or your child has gotten into legal trouble as a result of using cannabis, it is time to nip this habit in the bud.