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Dope, grass, ganga, pot, reefer, weed – call it what you will, it is being consumed by young people in the millions. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 70-80% of teens polled had used marijuana at some time. Approximately half of them said they used it regularly. The smoking of marijuana has become such an accepted part of teen culture that it is no longer the ‘in’ thing. So, if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t you? In answer, let's take a look at the reasons why many young people use marijuana, and see how valid they really are.
Some turn to dope as a way to cope with their problems. Others use it to ease depression or boredom. For others, it is simply curiosity that leads them to marijuana experimentation. Of course, peer pressure is also a major factor. For many, though, the reason for smoking marijuana is quite simply because they like the effect it produces – it is pleasurable.
How valid are these reasons? Is it wise, for example, to take a chemical stimulant to escape your problems? Of course not. Such a person will never develop the wisdom and insight necessary to successfully deal with his problems. Besides, the original problem is at best delayed, at worst escalated, by drug use. Nor should we allow ourselves to be led along like a sheep by our peers. This has led to countless heartaches in the past. Those who have the strength to stand on their own feet, however, can avoid the problems associated with blindly following the crowd. So, try to develop your own thinking ability – think things out for yourself. Observe other youths who have taken marijuana for some time. Do they seem to be affected by their drug use? Do they appear to be alert and sharp? Or are they, rather, drowsy and inattentive?
How about the pleasure that drug use allegedly brings? Many things that are temporarily pleasurable have a long term pain factor built in. A booklet produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirms this in the case of marijuana: The most common adverse reaction to marijuana is a state of anxiety, sometimes accompanied by paranoid thoughts; these can range from general suspicion to a fear of losing control and going crazy . . . Some marijuana users may need professional help.
It is no secret that marijuana adversely affects the lungs, the brain, the nervous system and the development process. In a nutshell it is destructive to your health. Of course the decision to use marijuana rests with you – remember though, that it is your mind, your body, and ultimately your life that you are dealing with here. Weigh the matter carefully before you make your decision.