Marijuana no ‘dangerous drug’
It is disappointing to read an article about marijuana in which a local professional trots out only dated, clichéd arguments to support his point — that marijuana is a “very dangerous drug” that should never be legalized.
There are many good reasons for young people to not use marijuana, but this article only uses misinformation and scare tactics, most if not all unsubstantiated by recent research. If we want young people to make sound decisions and not tune us out, then we have to tell them the truth.
Telling them that marijuana is a gateway drug, is physically dangerous and will lead to unprotected sex are things they will learn are not true as soon as they do their own web search. In fact, they will find an overwhelming amount of peer-reviewed research telling them that most of what is in this article isn’t true.
They might even wonder what else adults have told them that isn’t true. Lying to kids ends the conversation, which is the last thing we want to do.
Real reasons for kids to not use marijuana:
- The law. A drug arrest can prevent you from getting financial aid for college and from being eligible for licensing in many professions.
- Property Forfeiture. This means that the police can seize any property that they believe was used in committing the drug-related crime, including boats, cars and even your family’s home. There have been some very high profile instances of property forfeiture in Livingston County, so this is real.
- It takes your grades. There are always a few kids who can use marijuana without having their grades drop, but they are the exception to the rule. Marijuana interferes with memory and recall and while you are in school those two skills are critically important. If you are a young marijuana user and doubt this, plot your quarterly math scores in a graph and see for yourself
- It will screw up your relationships with your parents. If you are doing something illegal,chances are you’ll be keeping secrets and telling lies, and that always gets in the way of having a close relationship.
- You’ll lose your job. Many employers now drug test. Drug tests are terrible at picking up short-acting drugs but very good at picking up marijuana use. To keep kids safe, we have to give them real information and keep the conversation going.
— Submitted by Cynthia Knowles, Dansville