There have been many debates as to whether marijuana is a gateway drug. Proponents of marijuana legalization will say no, there is no evidence of this. It may be true that there are plenty of people who smoke marijuana and never go on to using other drugs. But the fact remains that marijuana itself is a drug, which essentially is a toxin and people, youth especially, shouldn’t be using drugs. It’s really as simple as that. But what about the rest who were led to believe that smoking weed is no big deal (or that it’s actually good for you), and because of this do go on to become hardcore drug addicts? What about those individuals who lose their lives due to overdose?
It doesn’t strike people down like pills or heroin does. It doesn’t make the heart explode like cocaine or methamphetamine can. A person in withdrawal from marijuana isn’t screaming in pain. So what makes weed the most dangerous?
Simply because so many people believe that it is harmless. As Richard Adamski, a 30-year marijuana user, put it, “In my strong opinion, cannabis is the most dangerous drug because most people think it isn’t.” Now that he’s stopped consuming cannabis, he says, “I am 66 now and nothing to show for what I’ve done in my life because of marijuana.”
Encouraging Teens to Look out for Their Peers
We all know that youth are dealing with a lot of peer pressure. Few kids are immune to this invisible force that can be subtle in its manifestations but brutal in its effects. The simple desire to be liked or fit in with a group of friends can influence an individual’s values and actions in dangerous ways. Peer pressure is effective in convincing youth to take part in risky activities like drug use and sex and it’s also in full force in convincing teens to stay silent when they see their friends taking serious risks.
Just fifteen or twenty years ago, it would have been unheard of for a high school student to use or be addicted to heroin. That was a drug seemingly reserved for those “degraded, marginal characters” – the ones dubbed “junkies.” For middle-class families in cities or suburbs, heroin was a subject that seemed a million miles from their homes and children.
That’s no longer the situation. Now, families across the nation have discovered that their beloved children are addicted to heroin. In some families, this discovery is made only when their teen-aged child fatally overdoses. In schools, educators become frustrated when they do their best to prevent drug use by their students, only to suffer another loss to drug overdose.