" I am against drugs and drinking but I know many people who are not. As a teenager myself, I see why and how drugs have become such a serious issue in teenagers. I see everyday more people ages ranging from twelve to eighteen being effected by either drugs, or people using them. Marijuana is the most common drug being used, and the one I’d like to discuss. Although once one is under the influence of marijuana, it won’t end there. Other drug and alcohol uses have almost made Marijuana appear innocent, or less of a danger, but is that the truth? There is always advertising on the media, in school, and anywhere possible of how alcohols affects your judgment, ruin your kidneys; that cigarettes give you lung cancer, and are addictive. Marijuana is a strong drug, and I feel that unlike cigarettes or drinking which have been written off as much more of a concern; marijuana not only effects judgment under the influence or in a “high” but also affects that person’s personality and point of view from the first time they smoke and on, permanently.
I have been told by a person under the influence of marijuana that once you smoke marijuana “You’re open to more in the world”; therefore one can conclude that marijuana has an effect on a person’s outlook on life. I was homeschooled up until 7th grade and once I began school I began to realize the effects that marijuana has on teenagers. I saw people who I met and knew and loved and watched their lives change through marijuana. Suddenly, my friends could no longer hold conversations anymore; they jumped from topic to topic. I saw their lives gobbled away smoking; they became oblivious of everything in their lives and could only talk about marijuana, or who doesn’t smoke, whose against it, how it feels, how much they bought, etc. Every person I have ever known that began to smoke marijuana has become obsessed with being under the influence and we know the saying “curiosity kills the cat”; once they have experienced one drug, they will begin to experiment with others. So, no marijuana doesn’t have the addictive nicotine in it that cigarettes do, no marijuana doesn’t give you lung cancer, but I believe that “Marijuana isn’t addictive” isn’t true at all.
One CAN get addicted to the feeling of being on marijuana. If someone were to sit down and interview a person under the influence of marijuana they would tell you that “I could stop if I wanted too.” But that is also a lie, they say they will stop but with most addictions, they can’t! I have witnessed may teenagers under the influence of marijuana stop for a while saying that they don’t need it; but they always go back to it because they eventually miss the feeling of Marijuana, and how everything is so perfect, and how they are so happy. So the real questions are, why do teenagers need Marijuana, how did they become under the influence of Marijuana? Most people will answer “peer pressures”, but I wouldn’t say this is the whole fault. As a teenager, everything is the end of the world. Teenagers are young, undeveloped and very emotional. Teenaged years are also the most difficult, and sometimes more difficult than they can control. When teenagers are this vulnerable they could begin Marijuana for either two reasons, in my opinion. The first being that they are too young to make decisions for themselves and become under the influence because they aren’t experienced enough to realize the consequences of the drug, but of course, when you’re a teenager you are invincible, right? These types of drug users believe that because they are young they should do drugs while they are young before they have any real responsibilities; unfortunately this is not the case. When you are young, being under the influence could potentially ruin those chances of a future, many teenagers on drugs will fall behind in school and even cause more problems for themselves causing them to smoke more.
There are arguments that teenagers should experiment with drugs now before college, believing that if they don’t try Marijuana and other drugs now that they will in college and ruin their life; what they don’t realize is that they don’t HAVE to try drugs in college either and trying them now could ruin their life before they could even get to college. There are other arguments I have had personally with a teenager under the influence of Marijuana that they have straight A’s in school and that Marijuana isn’t affecting their future; but marijuana affects different people differently. That same teenager could tell a friend that and get them into marijuana also but for their friend, it could affect their grades and future; this is an example of also the immature teenager that will try marijuana for clique purposes. When you’re a teenager, fitting in is a big deal, but I seem to find that the people that want to fit in are the most likely teenagers to shatter their lives with Marijuana; this would be because if they don’t want to be unique, but like everyone else, they can’t and aren’t thinking for themselves. The second reason a teenager would begin to use Marijuana is as a cope. This is a more serious, and reasonable explanation for drug uses that even adults would admit to. I know many teenagers who do have very legit problems, some of them aren’t as legit, but either way when someone has a problem there can’t be any judgment because it could seem small to us but very severe to them. In the same way that adults will have a drink of vodka, or other drink when they have a problem or are stressed out; some teenagers will smoke marijuana.
Teenagers are faced with many obstacles that are coped with though marijuana use; such as fitting in, bias people, abusive parents, abusive significant others, bad childhoods, and other problems that adults are also faced with. Therefore many people can relate to the use of marijuana as a cope, because marijuana does calm a person down, and makes them happy for a little bit. Unfortunately as an undeveloped teenager using drugs and alcohol have more of an effect and consequence. I believe that everyone has a form of relaxation that could replace drug use; such as how some people who go for long walks when they are stressed out, some people who play an instrument or sing when they are upset or even drinking coffee. Thing like this could replace the need of drugs, but not everyone knows what could be a better cope, and as said by a person under the influence of marijuana “You never should start smoking because once you do, you realize how much it sucks to be sober.” I am not one to call anyone under the influence out on their habits nor would I break off a friendship because of their opinions on drug use. I am not the most conservative person or religious at all; I just felt that I had to write this because I find Marijuana to be a very important issue, or at least it is very important to me.
I find it disappointing and sad that everyone around me is losing their touch with reality and their lives because of Marijuana and I hope to help more people understand how powerful this drug is through this article and help to try to stop this plague."
By EmilyKnowlton, North Grafton, MA