Know the Facts:
Marijuana is one of the most misunderstood drugs in America. Legalizing marijuana has been in the political spotlight. Marijuana is gaining a positive reputation in the health sector based on its supposed ability to help ease the pain associated with certain illnesses.
However, Marijuana is in fact a deadly drug made even more so by the fact that its danger is downplayed. The truth is Marijuana causes cancer, is responsible for fatal car crashes and is considered a gateway drug opening the door for other hard drug use.
- Marijuana is used more widely than any other drug in America.
- The average age that people start smoking Marijuana is 17.
- 4.2 million Americans are dependent on Marijuana.
- Aside from alcohol, Marijuana is the top cause of drug related car crashes.
More recently, a series of Synthetic Marijuana products have become popular in America. Known as K2 or Spice these products have similar affects on a human but are “legal” and easier to access.
Warning Signs and Symptoms:
Because Marijuana is such a common drug in America, it is hard sometimes to grasp the big picture. The first thing a parent should do is get the facts and know the drug.
- Marijuana is also known as Kriptonite, reefer, smoke, pot, ganja, bud, shwag, grass, weed, bones, blunts, bhang, stick and krippy.
- THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and ti affects the nerve cells in the part of the brain that forms memories.
- Marijuana is illegal.
- Synthetic marijuana is known also as Spice, Gold, K2 and “herbal incense.”
- The packaging for synthetic marijuana usually has psychedelic art on it and claims to be an herbal mixture.
- This product, though legal, has not been tested and is therefore not considered safe.
Marijuana is a gateway drug and can lead to the use of other harder substances. Thus, it is important to detect use early and have a conversation with your children right away. Here are some things to look out for that may indicate that your child has taken an interest to either marijuana or synthetic marijuana.
- You find paraphernalia such as rolling papers, lighters, pipes and/or herbal incense wrappers. Additionally, the appearance of eye drops could indicate marijuana usage.
- You smell odors on your child or coming from their room. These odors do not necessarily need to be of marijuana. Oftentimes incense, potpourri or perfumes are used to mask the smell.
- Your child’s grades have been dropping and their interested in school and homework has declined.
- Your child is hanging out with new friends and not interacting as much with you.
Marijuana is sometimes difficult to detect on a person. It does not carry a lasting odor and many people can function seemingly normally. Here are some key signs to look out for that may indicate that your child has been using marijuana.
- Bloodshot or red eyes.
- Smelly clothes and hair.
- Difficulty with general coordination such as walking.
- Short term memory loss such as forgetting something that was just said.
- Silly or goofy behavior that seems out of place.
- Sleepiness or drowsiness.
The most important job you have to do as a parent is to make sure that your child knows the dangers of marijuana. Make sure you communicate the facts. Here are some important topics of conversation.
Smoking and driving:
- 68% of licenses teens claim to regularly smoke and drive.
- Make sure your children know that marijuana can affect their ability to drive for up to two hours after initial use.
- Explain to your child that smoking can alter their ability to react, make decisions and stay away. It is a common cause of fatal car crashes.
- Smoking one joint is akin to smoking 25 cigarettes and causes 25xs the damage to lungs and increases risk of cancer.
- Marijuana reduces sperm count in men causing permanent damage.
- Smoking increases testosterone in women causing the appearance of body and facial hair.
- Smoking marijuana can reduce sex drive and permanently impair the ability to get aroused.
- Short term memory loss can be permanent.
- Marijuana is addictive.
Resources for Help:
- Hot Topics
Donate to MADC
Learn how you can support the MADC with a donation by clicking HERE.