Thursday, July 18, 2013

Parents Say 21, I Say 18 (cannabis)

Recently, conducted a survey where many parents gave their suggestions as to what the age of cannabis use should be. Parents believe the ages should be 21 years of age. Many of the parents also believe cannabis advertising should be banned (90%) and the majority of parents also believe that cannabis use causes brain damage on still developing brains.

I have a few issues with these results. Not because of what people are saying (they're just voicing their opinions) but because some of these results just don't make any sense. Tobacco can be advertised right outside a store or even magazine and many alcoholic beverages are advertised almost everywhere. You can see an alcoholic advertisement on TV, hear them on the radio, see them on the Internet, and so on and so forth. Cannabis, a much safer substance, has many parents believing that no marijuana should be allowed to be advertised, anywhere. If companies can promote their dangerous products then companies should be allowed to advertise theirs. Though, I believe cannabis should strictly be owned by local businesses and not huge corporations (see why I believe so right here) I still think local businesses should be allowed to advertise their products since this future product causes much less harm. We have local brewers that advertise around town, local growers should be allowed to promote themselves as well.

Now, the majority of parents also think you should be 21 to purchase cannabis, I think it should be 18 and here's why. Binge drinking has become more common recently among teens and cannabis use among adolescence has also risen. It has nothing to do with medical marijuana laws, why it's been hitting the news recently is beyond me right now. Let me make this clear, anybody who has a connection to a dealer willing to sell to them will more than likely buy the dealer's product. The drug of choice among teens is cannabis. Why's that? Well, in order to buy cannabis you just need to find a dealer. You don't need to be 21 or have any proof of age, you just need cash and a way to meet up with the dealer. If the cannabis use age is 21 and cannabis growing companies are not allowed to advertise their products then alcohol can certainly become more appealing to teenagers. Cannabis, being safer, is a much healthier substance for people to use in general, especially adolescents. If we make the cannabis use age 18 then adolescents will have an easier time obtaining it. You can buy tobacco at 18 and tobacco kills around 400,000 Americans every year, not a single person has ever overdose on marijuana and cannabis related deaths in general are very low (counting car crashes and what not. They happen, it's just rare).

Throughout my high school life I have attended four high schools. Often I would see students go to school stoned. Hell, I've been stoned in school myself. It almost always threw my concentration off but I didn't fall into any negative effects beyond not being able to pay much attention. When I was a little buzzed it was fine. It was rare for me to see students walk into school buzzed off some sort of alcohol and when they were buzzed, often they would fall over since, you know, high schoolers tend to be light weights. I've witnessed many dumb ass things when teenagers get drunk. Teens may be kinda dumb when they're stoned but they're much less willing to run around, fuck, or cause problems in general. When people get stoned they usually just wanna relax and people of younger age tend to get so stoned off a few hits that they don't wanna walk. The chances of a teenager getting behind the wheel when they're high, from my experience, is much less common and when they're high behind the wheel, they don't drive nearly as bad as when they're drunk. If you make the cannabis use age 18 you potentially lower the chances of teens binge drinking, and nobody wants an alcoholic teenager on their hands. You can't wipe out drug and alcohol us from teens but you can steer teens to a better path of safety.

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