Marijuana is beginning to change the way adolescents view the substance in America, making it the number one most commonly used illicit drug.
The use of marijuana is most common and widespread among adolescents and young adults. The effects of smoking affect every user differently whether it is used short-term or long-term.
“I feel like people [teens] are more entitled to smoke in order to fit in, ” senior Ethan Childress said. Aware of the issue of teens who smoke, he feels if students at his school were to undergo mandatory drug test that, “half the people wouldn’t even show up.”
According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, an annual survey of drug use and attitudes among the nation’s middle and high school measures of marijuana use by eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders peaked in the mid-to-late 1990’s and has slowed since.
“They’re [teens] not getting the grades and passing,” Ethan said.
People under the influence experience a euphoria and sense of relaxation. Other effects, which may vary dramatically among different people, include heightened sensory perception, laughter, altered perception of time, and increased appetite.
For some, it is easy to identify someone under the influence. As for sophomore Samuel Kilcrease. He witnesses many of his fellow classmates under the influence while at school. He does not believe marijuana is something he would want to take part in but he does believe, “there are benefits for other people.” Sam believes that marijuana is a gateway drug for teens. “Once you start one thing, you’re probably gonna do other things down the road,” Sam said If marijuana was legal in the entire U.S. he still would not consider smoking.
Potential medicinal properties of marijuana and its components have been the subject of research and heated debate for decades.
Ethan said, “I feel like medical marijuana should be legal because it’s for medical reasons, and I’ve read about how beneficial it can be.” Sam feels that only medical marijuana should be legal in the US because, “[recreational] marijuana is bad for your health.”
An additional concern with "medical marijuana" is that little is known about the long-term impact of its use by people with health complications.
~Jalen Robinson- Journalism 1,