We at Suncoast have expressed our concerns about marijuana legalization in many previous articles. We aren’t the only people worried about the rush to make marijuana a legal medical or recreational drug. Several scientists have studied the effects of pot on the brain – and the results support the current, illegal status of weed.
What Teachers Say About Kids Who Smoke Pot
Many educators have observed the dangers of students lighting up first-hand. This is why drug education and prevention is so close to the heart of many who work at schools and colleges.
One such educator is Richard Hawley, former headmaster of the University School in Cleveland. He observed that students using drugs end up demonstrating the following characteristics:
- Poor schoolwork
- Doing less schoolwork than before the drug use
- Initiating less activity which doesn’t have to do with obtaining or using drugs
- Harder to make the student interested at school
- Becoming less involved in former (clean) friends and family
- Becoming numb to their personal and academic losses
- Feeling they are functioning better in spite of actually doing worse
- Hanging out only with other kids who take drugs
- One of the major reasons young people shouldn’t smoke pot is: your brain doesn’t finish development until after the age of 20. This brain development can be blunted and even warped by casual pot smoking.
- Another is that kids in high school or even younger who try pot are more likely to take other, more heavy drugs later on in life. This can be smoking pot or even eating it in one of the new, popular marijuana edibles.
- Weed can actually cause permanent brain damage in users – old and young.
- These aren’t the only health effects marijuana causes. Others include: mood swings, altered perception, paranoia, difficulty thinking, poor learning ability, bad memory, brain damage, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, personality changes, psychotic reactions, and lung disease. There is also some evidence that smoking marijuana can contribute to lung cancer.
- Finally, marijuana is both addictive and a gateway drug for young people and for adults.
These points all show that drugs alter the minds of young people who take them. Pot actually changes the brain of users.
Statistics of Weed Use
There have been many studies which track marijuana use among Americans and which try to discover the effect of pot use. Here are just a couple:
A 2011 study shows that 1 in 4 Americans who started using addictive substances (like marijuana) before the age of 18 will become addicted to drugs. This is a huge difference to the 1 in 25 Americans who will become addicts if they start using addictive drugs at the age of 21 or older.
The tragedy of this particular study is that 75% of high school students surveyed had tried addictive substances.
A government survey done in 2013 shows that high school aged kids consistently believe that marijuana is not a risky drug to use. This number has a lot to do with how many young people are willing to use. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana use among teens has been on the rise since the mid 2000’s. Not only are more teenagers smoking pot – they are starting to use weed at younger and younger ages.
New Scientific Developments on Teen Pot Use
Science matches up with what teachers and statistics show: it’s not safe for kids to smoke pot. There are several reasons why this is the case.
In the end, marijuana is a harmful, illegal drug which is addictive and damaging to those who use it. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction to marijuana – or any other drug – contact us here or give us a call at (877) 850-7355. We work to help each of our students get and remain completely drug free.
Refs: Huffingtonpost.com, The Headmaster’s Papers byRichard Hawley, Casacolumbia.org, Drugabuse.gov, News-medical.net, Time.com, Mic.com, Sfn.org, neurosci.org, Psychcentral.com