Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Teen Use in Marijuana Has Gone Up, But Alcohol and Cigarettes Has Gone Down!
That's according to NIDA InfoFacts: High School and Youth Trends
There is really no way to say this than to honestly say to you people that this is good news.
Now I am not going to get in depth about how alcohol and cigarettes are bad for you, if you are reading this I am going to assume you have half a brain and are already educated enough to know that. I am also not going into all the beneficial aspects of marijuana.
This is just my opinion, but if teenagers are going to go out and do something, they are going to do it regardless of what their parents or the law says. Personally, I would rather they used marijuana than either alcohol or cigarettes. It is safer than either of the other two, but I would rather they did not use it at all unless they actually had a beneficial need for it,. I am just trying to be realistic about the situation. We all have been there, peer pressure, stress, and growing pains are the norm. Also when you are a teenager you tend to have to be more sociable and starting to establish your self identity. That said, inevitably they will be exposed to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Marijuana is a low hanging branch for teenagers just like it is for law enforcement arrests. What I am saying is, it is easily accessible, and it is an source of tempting income due to the proliferation of the black market. Hey when I was a teenager, I'd rather sell a few bags of weed to my friends and make as much money as I would've slinging burgers. It was easy money.
So in essence the black market encourages teenagers to go out and push this on to other kids. The black market is there because of prohibition, this is a good reason why prohibition of marijuana is not working!
Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske recently put out a statement regarding this study.
I am going to take a few statements from him and give my opinion:
Discussions of marijuana legalization and 'medical' marijuana send the wrong message to young people about the consequences of drug use and these mixed messages may play a role in increasing teen drug use.
I disagree with this assertion. There is nothing wrong in kids being educated that something naturally grown, and widely referred to by physicians can be medicinal. I do not see the diligence of protecting teens subscribed to with such vigilance when it comes to man made pharmaceuticals that are given to teens for depression that have side effects such as suicidal tendencies and possibly death. They are still being prescribed to teens everyday indiscriminately by doctors. If that pill did not fix ya up, well he has another one all lined up for you to try, and guess what? It is going to have the same disclaimer for side effects as the last one, I guarantee it.
The mixed message teens are getting is, one drug is illegal with negligible side affects, and the other drug is legal but side affects of possible suicidal tendencies and death.
Albeit this video is a spoof, oddly enough big pharma commercials with their long list of disclaimers are unavailable on You Tube. This does kind of make my point though.
Which one do you think a depressed teenager would prefer?
Instead of blaming medical marijuana for the use going up, they should be more focused on what brought down the abuse of alcohol and cigarettes. By ending prohibition of alcohol, regulating it along with cigarettes, and by having the age to consume being over 18 or 21, and enforcing it by making sure stores don't sell to minors, they have succeeded in bringing the abuse down. Why can't this proven, successful, model be applied to marijuana?
If alcohol and cigarette abuse declines, of course that means marijuana use in teens is going to spike. It's easily accessible and unregulated.
The logic that medical marijuana is sending mixed messages is to blame is nonsensical. Why are taxpayers having to pay for such a narrow minded opinion of the state of the world? It really boggles the mind. I really do expect more common sense from a government official, rather than this status quo bullshit.
Since California made 'medical' marijuana legal under state law in 1996, the state has seen a number of efforts to legalize the drug and today, almost half of the Californians who seek drug treatment cite marijuana as their primary substance of abuse are teens.
If a teen (or adult) goes in and tells a doctor or a therapist that they have been using marijuana for medicinal purposes, such as depression, it will automatically be deemed as abuse whether it was beneficial or not, simply because it is illegal, ergo artificially spiking the numbers of the statistics.
Uncle Sam needs to man up and realize that marijuana prohibition failed, and quit pointing his finger at medical marijuana now. Uncle Sam should know that when you point the blame on someone else, you got three fingers pointing right back at you.