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Marijuana Use Is On The Rise

Updated on July 6, 2011
Last year alone,there was a 29% increase in marijuana use among high school girls
Last year alone,there was a 29% increase in marijuana use among high school girls

High Times

Pot can be easier to get than cigarettes and alcohol; although itcan be more dangerous and destructive. Why are more teen girls smoking marijuana than ever before?

 
 

At parties everywhere, or when a group of friends are just hanging out: If someone opens a beer or lights a cigarette, you probably think it is not a big deal. If you don't want to drink, you can always say you can't get busted by your parents for beer breath. Maybe you are not into smoking cigarettes, but not smoking doesn't make you feel lame - nobody really thinks twice if you don't want one. But if someone pulls out a joint or a bowl, you might find yourself torn. On one hand, marijuana seems harmless - you have never heard of anybody dying from an overdose of pot, and it is supposed to be natural right? Also, it seems like something different to do that would make a boring day much more interesting. On the other hand, you may have that nagging feeling: Could you get arrested if someone found out? Could your pot be laced with something that could kill you? Will it make you feel out of control or sick? Will you get paranoid and freaked out? But even these scenarios almost seem...exciting - they make you feel like you would look brave for trying something new, like you are more experienced or cooler.

The thing is, pot does affect your body in harmful ways. It drains your memory power and makes you move slower (dangerous when you are driving or in a car with someone who is high.) It could make you gain weight or get acne. The scary reality is that pot is stronger than ever, and is often linked to psychosis, meaning it could make you hallucinate, and in some people, set of symptoms of schizophrenia. Still, more girls are smoking marijuana. When the pressure to smoke pot seems high and the risks of doing it seem low, it can be easy to be convinced that you can handle it. It is not that simple. Read on for stories from real girls who thought it was no big deal - until they got seriously burned.

"I Smoked To Cope With Stress"

"My mom had a tough time making ends meets after my parents divorced when I was 14. She was always picking big fights with me over little things because she was so stressed. One weekend, I went to my friend's house to escape my mom's mood, and some kids were smoking pot. I thought it was harmless, so I took a puff. And within minutes, I felt a wave of relief, I smiled for the first time in months . So I couldn't wait to smoke again the next day. I kept smoking over the next few months, until I was doing it every day for hours.

Eventually my mom got a job and I was old enough to get one too. We weren't as stressed and we got along better, so I didn't smoke for seven months - it was easy to give it up when my life was going well. But then my mom was laid off and I broke up with my boyfriend. I felt so anxious that I started smoking again. Soon, I couldn't sleep without smoking. My grades slipped, but stressing about it made me want to smoke more .

But a few months later, something weird happened. No matter how much I smoked, the weed didn't give me a calm feeling. I'd hit a wall. There just wasn't a reason to smoke. So that night, I vowed to quit - and did.

Since I quit, I feel less stressed. The problem with smoking to forget you troubles is that you forget everything else too. I'm still tempted to smoke when I'm upset, but I handle it by pulling out a list of goals I wrote down to remind myself how much more I want from my life." - Jessica, 18

"I Started Smoking To Fit In"

"The first time I tried pot in eighth grade, I was at a party where everyone was a bit older. I felt out of place, so when someone offered me a hit, I said yes. Instantly I was a more comfortable version of myself. I started smoking more and more, and by high school graduation, I was doing it at least four times a week. But the more I smoked, all I cared about was smoking with friends. Last August, I ran into a guy I knew who asked if I wanted to make money selling pot. It seemed like easy cash, so I paid him $135 for 12 plastic baggies of weed, put them in an eyeglass case in my purse, and forgot all about it.

A few days later, I went shopping. And on the ride home, I realized I left my purse - with the pot! - on the checkout counter. I went back into the store, and when I asked a greeter if he'd found it, he told me to wait. After about 20 minutes, a detective with a gun on his hip came toward me; I was terrified. He took me to the police station, where I told the truth about where I'd gotten the weed. A few hours later I was released - but two months later, I went before a judge, who sentenced me to 30 days in county jail for 'felony possession' and 'intent to deliver.' I was hysterical and ashamed - the court was full of people who knew me.

The first few days in my cell, all I did was cry. But I had no one to blame but myself. So I thought hard about how to change, and after 24 days in jail, I was released for good behavior. Now I don't hang out with smokers, and I'm going to college. It killed me to read my sister's letter in jail about how much she missed me. And I'm just now fixing things with my parents. I never realized how many people could suffer, just so I could have a good time." - Cindy, 19

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    • profile image

      TMack 

      3 years ago

      Google the Regan (president) studies. There are no long term affects. Short term memory loss is restored after 4-6 weeks. ....

    • profile image

      Joe 

      4 years ago from Minnesota

      Wow, marijuana use is up? All I want to point out is the fact that use has steadily increased since it was first made illegal. Just look at the 4 decades since President Nixon declared "War on Drugs", after spending well over a Trillion dollars on this war, drug use (all drugs) has gone up. How can 52 to 54 Billion dollars per year be spent on losing a war? To do anything else the government would have to admit they made the same mistake twice. Alcohol prohibition is considered to be a failed experiment. To legalize marijuana would be admitting their failure to learn from past mistakes.

      One last point. I think most of us can agree that Methamphetamine is much worse than marijuana yet, doctors are allowed to prescribe amphetamines for conditions such as ADHD, obesity and narcolepsy. That in itself is enough evidence to not trust the government to rule over me.

      As far as your stories of tragedy due to weed. Well, I've smoked weed for the vast majority my 46 years and have never built up a tolerance to the extent that the young lady describes as a period of a few months. Also, I didn't start smoking marijuana to fit in and end up having my life spin out of control and start dealing. My memory is as good or better than it ever was. If it has affected my mind then, if I had not smoked weed, I would put Albert Einstein to shame. Ok, slower reflexes, I'll give you that one however like everything in life, use a bit of common sense and don't drive while stoned.

      To quote President Jimmy Carter.

      “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use... Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce [28g] of marijuana.”

    • profile image

      and this is for the weed heads! 

      6 years ago

      this really disturbed me when I read it. Pot is not 'bad' like this article says, the cops surely can arrest you for having it, though. Which is clearly shown in this article when one of the people tells a story of being caught for having pot. I don't even believe the story, but if I did, that's really fucked up of the police and weed should just be legalized. mostly i don't believe the story because who spends $135 on pot and then forgets about it for days? only a stoner could, and clearly they weren't a stoner because they still hadn't smoked it DAYS later, crazy. and also why would a clerk go through a lost bag and go in the glasses case. like i'd get it if it was like a wallet or cell phone for identification, but really glasses. wow. and then they would call the cops? okay, somewhat understandable. But then the victim of the 'crime' would get arrested and jailed on the spot? Unlikely, they probably would've given her/him a court date, with a charge for possession and possibly a consent of sell charge. So i find this story quite fake. And then theres another story about a girl who smokes to feel the ease, but stops because she ''hit a brick wall.'' First off, weed makes you feel great because of the THC being picked up in your brain by THC receptors by inhalation or consumption. It would never just "stop" feeling good. doesn't work that way. If the girl wanted to chill the fuck out she could sit back and smoke a joint or eat a brownie ( or other edibles ) and just relax. Weed is not bad and does not do much harm. Yes, smoking anything of any kind is not good for your lungs, especially tobacco wraps/papers used to smoke weed, so in that way weed can hurt your lungs. Yet, weed is not as harmful as tobacco and is also not addictive. There are also other methods of smoking weed that don't hurt your lungs at all, such as vaporization, which don't hurt your lungs at all, and the THC, which you already naturally have in your body, that you'll be getting can extensively improve the activities in your life by making them more fun. So hate on when i get my fade on.. i'm so high

    • profile image

      freetheweed 

      7 years ago

      See, these stories are about people being stupid and abusing the drug because they have emotional issues. Seriously? Smoking and selling are two different things, and as long as you don't abuse it then there is nothing wrong with smoking it.

    • profile image

      freetheweed 

      7 years ago

      See, these stories are about people being stupid and abusing the drug because they have emotional issues. Seriously? Smoking and selling are two different things, and as long as you don't abuse it then there is nothing wrong with smoking it.

    • profile image

      p money 

      7 years ago

      theres nothing wrong wid ganja stop crying over drugs when we all die one day stop living in fear bout who gets cancer and who u guna loose god is love not this materialistic world we all live in and follow a stupid system

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 

      8 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Great info, thanks for sharing.

    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for speaking up, even though it's not the popular thing to do. Your hub is inspiring to teens and will hopefully make a difference in someone's life.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      There are many Jessicas and Cindys out there who may not have the same courage as these two, who need to unwind and be whole again. This hub is very helpful. I wish this will be a recommended reading for those suspected users. They need us. Let's help them. Thanks for your share in trying to make the young aware of the consequences of drug abuse.

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