Some of us smoked pot when we were teens in the ’70s and ’80s, even the early ’90s. It was risky, which made it fun. We could act dumb, have a last hurrah before having to take life seriously.
Our friends did it too, but in no way did the adults in our world condone it — not parents, not teachers, not our boss if we want to keep a job. The police might catch us. Our parents might ground us. We were at risk, so we didn’t smoke all that much.
What do kids nowadays face? It’s socially acceptable and even the old guys smoke pot. Maybe some of these old hippies have been doing it for 40 or 50 years. “If they’re ok, then I’ll be ok,” some kids say. Of course, if everyone does it, then it must be ok, they think.
Most parents shrug their shoulders and think they’ll grow out of it. We knew we’d stop and most of us did. Oh a few friends got lost in wayside, not most of us. So if our children do it, what’s the big deal?
It turns out it is a very big deal because many of the kids today are getting lost to addiction very quickly. Some end up in psychosis, and this is scary. There’s no guarantee for overcoming addiction–even after going through rehab — or beating back the psychosis, anxiety or other mental illness.
It’s not uncommon to find 11-year-olds getting it from their friends at school. Sometimes it shows up with 8-year-olds, and that happens in affluent communities. One reason is that it’s been decriminalized in practice, if not by law. Another reason is that drug education has been taken out of so many schools.
It’s not the same pot, it’s 5x stronger.
Amateur chemists have modified pot to make it stronger with more THC. In the olden days, CBD used to be nearly equal the THC, the component which brings the high. CBD balanced the THC and offered some protection against going nuts. It turns out that CBD has mostly been bred out of today’s pot. The Pot Piper who wants followers is not telling our kids this part of the story.
Hey, they told us back in the day that it’s not addictive. Marijuana activists are saying the same thing today and that’s what our kids hear. As parents we rationalize, “Since it’s a ‘soft’ drug, it can’t be that addictive even if it is stronger.”
As Addictive as Cocaine, Heroin
Wrong, our kids are facing a completely different situation today. Today’s pot often is > 15% THC. Researchers in both Spain and the Netherlands have stated THC> 15% has addictive qualities on par with cocaine and heroin. This is why our kids can’t quit!!! As summarized by Dr. Martien Kooyman of the Netherlands at a conference in Sweden last year, World Federation Against Drugs here’s the truth of today (not quoted verbatim):
“The cannabis grown and sold today is not same drug as was available in the 1970s. The average THC has increased to more than 15%. Cannabis issue can clearly lead to addiction. The damage to the brain from chronic use is worse compared with chronic use of heroin. Among the negative effects of long-term cannabis use in adolescence include neuro-psychological dysfunction, decline in IQ, short memory, among others.
Dr. Kooyman concluded his presentation by reinforcing the message that cannabis can no longer be labeled a ‘soft’ drug. There is no justification to have different laws for cannabis than other drugs (labeled as ‘hard’). “The legalization of cannabis reinforces already existing opinion among youth that there are no risks in using cannabis.” A documentary film, The Other Side of Cannabis, presents what’s happening in the United States today.
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