• Sophia Rores

Going up in smoke

I am currently being schooled alongside people who I strongly believe will influence the future. I mean, I did just march alongside them in a protest against gun violence. With that being said, I feel like I need to shed some light on the drug that is most commonly used by adolescents, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse: marijuana.

Some of the more common myths on marijuana I have heard are: it can’t kill people who are using, users are still functional and they can’t overdose.

So, let’s say for argument’s sake that marijuana in fact isn’t lethal. Aren’t there things worse than death? For example, if I’m smoking marijuana to just chill and get high, then I might decide to go get a burger because I have the munchies. But, because of my poor judgment and coordination, I get in a wreck and lose my ability to walk.

How about another? All right, so I made it through high school on pot, rad! But now I’m in college and trying to get a job to become a contributing member to society. However, because I smoked marijuana heavily during my teens, I am struggling hard-core to learn and memorize what my professors are telling me. I can’t possibly function like this!

And finally, a user cannot overdose and die on marijuana. However, a user can take way too much, causing major psychotic episodes of anxiety and paranoia, according to drug.addictionblog.com.

Even if a user doesn’t die whilst on marijuana, they are still missing out on things that could affect their future whilst high. Let’s say throughout my entire high school career, I spend 45% of those four years getting high. If each school year is roughly 180 days and each school day is eight hours long, I will have wasted 2,592 hours out of 5,760 being high. Therefore, while users are out there not dying due to an overdose, they are wasting precious time and decreasing their chances of being successful.

In case anyone missed the important stuff, marijuana makes users extremely hungry and increases chances of getting in a car crash, according to the Ohio Department of Health. They also say using the drug long term can affect users learning abilities. Plus, users can seriously mess their minds up and increase anxiety and stress (illnesses that may be treated recreationally with marijuana).

All of what I just shared is paramount for users and people who are considering using to remember, however, most of the long-term side effects are caused by extreme doses of marijuana. To clarify, multiple times a day is extreme, five to seven times a week is frequent and a few times a month is moderate usage, according to users who would like to remain anonymous. Despite marijuana being a popular drug, usage by kids between 12-17 years old dropped from a little over eight percent to six and a half percent between the years 2002-2016, according to the cannabist.com.

So, not all hope is lost for the future. And, honestly, it’s not like the school is about to send a bunch of crazy marijuana addicts into the world. I just think it’s important for students to consider that even though weed isn’t going to kill users, it sure isn’t going to add value to their lives. Even though one puff won’t end their life, the lung cancer a heavy long-term user might develop will. Think of it like chocolate cake, a dessert loved by many, that loves none.

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