High percentage of teens getting high

Everybody does it, so why dont I is becoming the marijuana mantra these days.

“Everybody does it, so why don’t I” is becoming the marijuana mantra these days.

Fabian Mendez and Alwyn Galvez

More than 70% of Morton East students surveyed either smoked marijuana and/or took substances.

According to “Marijuana Fast Facts and Fact Sheets” from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, currently, Marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the United States, with approximately 22.2 million users each month. Research shows that about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted, but for people who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6. Coincidentally, Long-term, or frequent marijuana use has been linked to increased risk of psychosis or schizophrenia in some users. Over time, Marijuana use directly affects the brain — specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time. Usually, eating foods (edibles) or drinking beverages that contain marijuana have some different risks than smoking marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. For all you vapor users out there, vaping will expose you and others to diacetyl, a chemical that is linked to serious lung disease. In a random survey of 114 Morton East students, 73 of them have either smoked marijuana, vaped, had edibles or used drugs since the start of October. 

“I have honestly smoked marijuana since 7th grade; my friend introduced it to me. I was scared about it but once I tried it, I got addicted to it. I’ve tried to stop a few times, but it never lasted. Feels like, it’s something that I need no matter what goes on in my life,” an anonymous student said. 

Students get mad when teachers assume they smoked or taken drugs, but teachers do have reasons behind their assumptions. 

“Teachers don’t have to be potheads to know what marijuana smells like; we can make assumptions based on appearance and smell, then we will send you to the deans to check on you,” journalism teacher Kent Frankfother said.

According to drugfree, “Try talking with the student. Aim to understand their motivation for using marijuana. Instead of rushing to punitive measures, a health-driven approach may be more effective in eliminating risky behaviors and helping them turn to healthy alternatives.” But for most students, they think it’s all disciplinary actions that the staff will do. 

“I don’t think staff adequately handle drug problems, all they do is just put them in detention; what does that solve?” Senior student Verenice said.

Some at Morton estimate that about 2-3 out of 10 students are marijuana users. In addition, newportacademy states, “A survey of more than 500,000 people compared marijuana use before and after widespread legalization in the United States, and found that more teens were using the drug. In addition, the survey found a 25 percent increase in the number of teens reporting cannabis use disorder after legalization, from 2.18 percent in 2008 to 2.72 percent in 2016.” 

“I think 2 out of 10 students at random would-be marijuana users because it is easy to access in Illinois since it became legal, so people just buy it from each other,” a Junior at Morton East, Ethan said.

One adult had an amazing thing to say that many can connect to, when it comes to overall opinions this is golden. 

“Weed isn’t good, unless it’s prescribed. So, in a sense it’s both good and bad, sometimes it can mess with your head and do things that are considered illegal and bad to your standards. I’m saying this from my own experience but thank God I knew how to control myself from going through with the thoughts I’ve had. But it can relax you and make you happy, people just need to know how to control it and know how high they can get,” an anonymous adult said.