The purpose of my paper is to prove that marijuana effects teens and their mind. Marijuana is a tobacco-like substance produced by drying the leaves, stems, flower tops of the Cannabis sativa (Indian Hemp) plant (Fact Sheet, 1). It is smoked or eaten to get hallucinated and receive pleasure. It grows just about anywhere. It is illegal in some countries but in others it is used for medical purposes (Encarta, 1). Some names that it is called a joint, nail, pot, Mary Jane, hive, etc. (Fact Sheet and Facts for teens, 1). Marijuana stays in the body for several days after one smoking session. In a chronic user marijuana can stay in the body for up to several weeks (Facts for Teens, 1).
About one out of five 10th graders and about 1 out of four high school seniors used marijuana in the past month (Facts for Teens, 1). It is the second most popular drug among teens in the US (Encarta, 1). Teens, ages 12-17, that use marijuana weekly are nine times more likely than non-users to experience with illegal drugs and alcohol (Fed. Study, 1). More 13 & 14 year olds are using drugs, fifteen percent of them use marijuana (Teen Addiction, 63). From 1991-1997 the number of eight grader teens using marijuana went from 11% to 28%(Teen Detox, 1). About fifty-seven percent of the young people in the US have used drugs before they graduate from high school (War on Drugs, 116). One Million teenagers start smoking and doing drugs each year, 3,000 a day, despite the fact they aren’t old enough to purchase these things (Teen Addiction, 18). A survey reported that teenagers that go to religious services are less likely to smoke cigarettes or use marijuana or spend time with people that do.
Most teens start using marijuana because of their friends, siblings, or if older “cool” people do it. They also think that it’s “cool” because it is on movies, TV, or hear it sang in songs they like (Facts for Teens, 1). Stress and weight control among teens are some other reasons why they use drugs, smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol (Teen Detox, 1). “Younger Children, at eight-grade level and below, are at a greater risk, because their personalities haven’t developed well enough, and the aren’t mature enough to know how to handle altered states of consciousness. As with any drug, the younger the age of first use, the higher the risk” (Dr. Larry Chait, Teen Addiction, 64).
Smoking of marijuana can cause the person to become addicted to cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. Heavy or daily use effects the parts that control memory, attention, and learning (Facts for Teens, 13). When teens are 12 and 13 they are more exposed to drugs and most likely don’t listen to their parents (Age in Stem., 1). Some other psychological side effects would be paranoia, anxiety, fatigue, Euphoria, and mood swings (Fact Sheet, 1). Studies have shown that when a person uses marijuana it causes the heart to beat faster and work harder (Fact Sheet, 2). When people have smoked large measures of marijuana for years, the drugs takes its charge on mental functions (Facts for Teens, 13).
Some physical side effects are loss of reflexes and coordination, red eyes, increase in appetite (especially sweets), and nausea due to dizziness (Fact Sheet, 2). Marijuana can cause serious consequences like lack of interest in school, goals, and active interest “in illegal activity and dangerous behaviors like unsafe sex and violence” (Teen Addiction, 64). Young people have lack of attendance in school, poor school performance, and crime (Teen Addiction, 59). The main reason for the dumber a person gets the more they smoke is because that marijuana kills brain cells (War on Drugs, 131).
The percentage of suicidal thoughts and no use of drugs is 8% and with the use of drugs weekly is 24%. Weekly use of drugs with stealing is 34% and without drug use is 6%(Federal Study, 1). No use of drugs and cutting classes is 11% and weekly use of drugs is 60%. No use of drugs and running away is 4% and the weekly use is 24% (Federal Study, 2).
Teenager that use marijuana are most likely than non users to act in behaviors such as destruction of property, physical attacks on other teens, and lie or cheat (Federal Study, 1). Drug users are three times most likely to have on-the-job accidents, absent from work twice as much, and have more sickness costs as non-users.