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Teen Stories Show Dark Side of Marijuana

With the push to legalize (or at least decriminalize) marijuana moving forward across the nation, there are some voices that aren’t being heard. In the rush to paint a rosy picture of cannabis use and the medical benefits, teens who struggle with the drug are being set aside.

These stories from the streets about marijuana addiction deserve more attention. They can be found on forums across the web, but one in particular, Marijuana Anonymous has several worth reading.

One starts: ”I am 16 years old. When I was 11, I started smoking cigarettes because of a friend. At age 12, I started getting into alcohol and hanging out with gang members. At 13, I started smoking marijuana. At 14, I started doing hard drugs. I pulled a knife and swung at my dad. Luckily, I missed. I love my dad because he is the person who brought me into this world. I didn't realize that if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here.”

They are simple and direct. The posters lay out their experiences in plain narrative, and they paint a picture of drug and alcohol abuse starting at a very young age and progressing. Many are fully addicted before they can even legally drive.

If there’s hope to be had, it comes from knowing these teens were able to get help. Many do not and, along with our drive to legalize weed for adult use, there has to be money set aside and a real effort to reach these kids. Reach them an offer the needed treatment. Without that essential ingredient, legalization will only add to an already terrible situation.

Marijuana Anonymous is only one of the resources available online for teens in trouble with drugs or alcohol. It’s a simple but important first step to connect a teen with this type of support. By reading what others have to say and perhaps joining an online group, they can discover others – peers – who have struggled with addiction. It may be just what they need to start moving in the right direction.


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