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Junior HIGH: Kids and Marijuana

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Brad Lamm, CIPteen smoking marijuana | Country-wide legalization of marijuana is inevitable. It seems simply when, and not if. Despite differences of opinions we have on the drug, one element is conclusive. It should not be used by kids and teenagers.

According to Medical News Today, regular marijuana use among teens greatly impacts their brains, “including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing public health implications of marijuana legalization at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention.” As the article points out, “6.5 percent of high school seniors reported smoking marijuana daily, up from 2.4 percent in 1993.” Legal or not, clearly youth across the country are finding ways to smoke, and their brains are paying for it.

The article states that the government should use legalization as an opportunity to lower the rising THC content in the drug. I support this notion. THC is the main culprit behind the negative impact marijuana has on the brain. “Unfortunately, much of what we know from earlier research is based on smoking marijuana with much lower doses of THC than are commonly used today.” The rise in THC continues to spike making the drug more potent, and therefore more harmful, then we can statistically substantiate. Legalizing it might get that under control.

The country-wide debate and widespread acceptance of the drug have increased adolescent desire to partake in its usage. Bettina Friese, a Ph.D. at the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation in California, discovered that “marijuana use among teenagers was higher in counties where larger numbers of people voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004.” Public perception is everything. If you think it’s safe, you vote to legalize it and your kids believe that it’s safe for them to try.

Bottom line is that marijuana is harmful to teens. Period and end of story. While the push for legalization is successfully steamrolling through our country, we mustn’t forget to acknowledge the dangers it has on our youth, and prioritize keeping it out of their hands.

Marijuana can be addicting. If you have a problem with addiction you most certainly should consider leaving this one alone. Remember, just because in some places it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s harmless.

I am a recovered addict 11 years removed from alcohol and crystal meth dependence. I devote my life and career to helping others who struggle down that similar path. If you or someone you love is struggling from this disease call Breathe Life Healing Center today and get answers to your questions and the support you are looking for. We treat all substance addictions including marijuana.


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