The legalization of Marijuana in Colorado has been great news for every user over the age of 21, but has anyone bother to ask the question “What negative impact will this decision have on the children of Colorado”? The legalization of marijuana will increase the risk of use by adolescents and teenagers in our schools. We are sending a message to our younger generation that it’s ok to get “high”. A quote by –Nine-Inch Nails “Kind of like a cloud I was up, way up in the sky and I was feeling some feelings you wouldn’t believe… I decided I was never coming down.” (1)
Being a young teenager myself, I was exposed to marijuana by the time I reached junior high. I would see my friends smoking pot behind the school and wonder to myself “What is so great about this drug”? I was so afraid to try it because of the stories that my mother would tell me or what the teachers would say during health class. Once I reached high school, I had several friends getting “high” every day. My first period was computer class and I could see how many of my friends didn’t want to do the assignments because they were completely zoned out. Nevertheless, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So I decided to smoke pot one day at my friend’s house, and to my surprise I fell asleep. I was disappointed because I was told by my friends, how it will make you laugh and have a good time. Instead I ended up being paranoid and anxious and afraid my parents would notice my glazed look once I came home from school. I eventually stop smoking pot because of the affect it had on my ability to function in school and at home. Plus, I was looking for a part-time job and wanted to make sure I could pass a drug test.
The majority of people who support marijuana use, believe that “weed” is safer than alcohol but is this really true when it concerns young people. How can we say this drug is safer than alcohol when studies show that marijuana is highly addictive and the side effects in children are worse than an adult? According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, children who start smoking pot at a younger age will be more likely to become addicted to marijuana than people who start smoking in their twenties (2). Dr. Vokow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has also found that long term use of marijuana can affect the IQ of adolescent children in which they never recover (3). Furthermore, young people can also suffer from anxiety; depression; even thoughts of suicide.
I am very concerned about the legalization of marijuana, since I am a parent of six children, whose ages range from nine to twenty-two. I have made it a point to educate my children on how smoking marijuana can affect their brain development. Just recently my youngest son, has told me that he has learned that middle school and high school kids have been eating marijuana in different forms of baked foods, such as brownies, chocolate truffles and rice crispies. The kids are over eating the...