Recent legalization of marijuana in states such as Washington and Colorado has changed how teenagers perceive the use of marijuana. Recent studies report how teens consider cannabis a rite of passage in high school. Besides that, they also think of it as a safe alternative to drugs such as heroine or meth. Naturally, this is an alarming fact, which clearly tells us that we need to start educating our teenagers about the use of marijuana. Legalization in United States has brought the rise on marijuana use and acceptance among teens – pot smoking is now considered a cool thing to do for America’s teens.
More Teens Believe Marijuana Is Not Harmful
A new study reports that teenagers’ perception of the dangers of marijuana use has fallen to its lowest level in more than 20 years. What does that tell us? Should we be alarmed by it or simply ignore it? It’s obvious – the already high use of marijuana is about to increase as more states move towards legalization of the drug.
In 1991, the government first started keeping tracks of what eight graders believe and think of recreational use of marijuana. The annual survey released by the National Institutes of Health has found that “only 41.7 percent of eighth graders believe that occasional use of marijuana is harmful, while 66.9 percent regard it as dangerous when used regularly“. Both rates are reported as the lowest since 1991, the year mentioned above. As the eight graders grow older, their perception of marijuana risks diminishes even more – about 20.6 percent of 12th graders believed that occasional use of marijuana is harmful and about 44.1 percent of the same group believed that the regular use of the drug was harmful, which is the lowest rate since 1979.
The Potential Dangers Of Increased Use Of Marijuana
The results of the study could be a signal for potential increase in teenager’s use of marijuana: “We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life. THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measures of mental function into adulthood.” said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of NIH.
New Ways Teens Use Marijuana
Have you ever heard of honey oil? It’s a thick liquid substance, made from dissolving hashish or marijuana in solvents like acetone, alcohol, butane or petroleum ether. It is extremely potent – it has been reported to cause paranoia and hallucinations. Teenagers are using it in public places, even on school campuses using a small vapour pen that doesn’t require the lighter and doesn’t release any smells. Basically, teens get high in front of teachers’ eyes and they have no idea about it. If you’re a teacher or a parent reading this article, consider having a serious, yet friendly talk with your teenager. Cannabis is a remarkable plant, but only if used responsibly.