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News (Media Awareness Project) - US GA: OPED: Marijuana Use: Don't Think It Can't Happen to
Title:US GA: OPED: Marijuana Use: Don't Think It Can't Happen to
Published On:2012-01-27
Source:Macon Telegraph (GA)
Fetched On:2012-01-31 06:00:55

I just want to bring to light and let you know that there are more
illegal drugs available to our high schools today than I can ever
remember. I have I have been teaching for 12 years now. I have heard
of or seen students in previous years that got "busted" here or "got
caught" there, but never to the degree that has occurred this academic year.

Parents, I am asking you to please talk to your children about the
life changing affects that can occur not only from prolonged use, but
also about what can happen if they are caught with drugs on their
person or property.

Read these statistics I have come across from the website
www.athealth.com. There are stronger forms of marijuana available to
adolescents today than in the 1970s or 1980s.

Stronger marijuana means stronger effects. Research shows that more
than 40 percent of teenagers try marijuana before they graduate from
high school. Marijuana has adverse effects on many of the skills
required for driving a car. Driving while high can lead to car accidents.

Marijuana users may have many of the same respiratory problems that
tobacco smokers have, such as chronic cough and more frequent chest
colds. Marijuana smoking affects the brain and leads to impaired
short-term memory, perception, judgment and motor skills.

Marijuana messages that teens get are mixed, and this is definitely
not helping the situation. They need to clearly get the message that
marijuana is an illegal substance to use and it can affect their
lives in more than one way.

If they do not get this message one way or the other, there are no
chances for teen marijuana statistics to improve. Marijuana is more
common than alcohol. You don't need a fake ID to purchase marijuana.

Some of you might be reading this and thinking, "My child would never
do drugs, they are in the Beta Club, captain of a sports team or
cheer squad, class officer, homecoming court, makes honor roll and is
active in church."

My wife and I thought the same thing; our son was a senior class
officer, homecoming representative, Beta Club member, two sport
letterman and captain of the basketball team. Drug dogs brought to
the school parking lot detected traces of marijuana residue in his
vehicle on a device labeled as drug paraphernalia.

Due to the "Zero Tolerance Policy" of our school system, he was
expelled from his high school and has to attend alternative school.
He cannot go to the prom, cannot see his team play, and cannot even
set foot on or at any school function at any school in our system.
Yes, this can happen to your child.

We love our son more than anything and will help him get through
this, hard as it may be. Love your child by talking to them, asking
them questions that are uncomfortable for either of you, and let them
know that you care enough about them so they won't get busted.
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