Kids and pot - US teenagers think smoking marijuana is no big deal
By: Dr Charles Fiscella | Published Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 8:30 AM | Updated Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 8:30 AM
|To teens smoking a blunt is like drinking booze!|
The National Institutes of Health released its annual survey last week which shows that American teenagers’ perception of the dangers of marijuana has fallen to the lowest level in more than 20 years, noting that only 41.7 % of eight graders view the drug as harmful.
Only about 20% of high school seniors considered pot smoking as unsafe.
The report also warns that marijuana use among school aged children is on the rise.
So is it becoming OK for kids to smoke pot?
Well, no more than alcohol is OK. Let’s face it - many kids are going to experiment with alcohol and pot in high school and college. Nothing much about that has changed over the years. It is important though to unify the message young people take away from American society as a whole. As more and more states move towards legalizing the possession and use of marijuana, there is an arguably reasonable impression that smoking the stuff is no big deal. Yet, at the same time some states are decriminalizing, other states are jailing people for the same behavior.
A more uniformed national approach is in order. It should emphasize both education and decriminalization. Young people should not have to face prosecution nor should they rely on ignorance of the possible negative consequences of smoking pot.