Recent reports have been issued showing that pot (marijuana) is one of the most popular abused drug among teenagers. In Denver, Colorado, the Denver Office of Drug Strategy found that the rise of marijuana use is due to the large influx of medical marijuana dispensaries and the diminishing stigma about smoking pot. This increase of teens smoking pot is partly because the national debate over medical use of marijuana can make the drug’s use seem safer to teenagers, researchers have found. In addition to marijuana, fewer teens also view prescription drugs and Ecstasy as dangerous, which often means more could use those drugs in the future.
However, smoking pot does have significant health impacts. Marijuana releases 400 chemicals when smoked and is especially harmful to the developing brain and body. Pot can be very detrimental to decision making and impacts rational thought.
Marijuana has surpassed cocaine as the major drug abuse and is the most common drug that is treated in rehab, excluding alcohol. Cocaine now ranks second behind marijuana in substance abuse related hospital discharges. Next comes heroin and methamphetamines are fourth.
In Minnesota, Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed a measure that would have allowed medical marijuan to be legalized. However, the Minnesota Legislature resumes its work in February and may bring up medical marijuana issue again. The legislature should review the recent reports and think twice before allowing medical marijuana to be legalized.