A Little Pot on the Weekends: Totally Understandable Curiosity or the Beginning of the Slide into Trouble?
By Craig Rogers
Teens start using marijuana for many reasons. Maybe it’s the “cool thing” to do. While some kids just want to look cool, the majority of adolescent drug users get started using, just on the weekends, for many reasons. Curiosity and the desire to fit into a social group are very common reasons. Certainly, adolescents who have already begun to smoke cigarettes and/or use alcohol are at high risk for marijuana use.
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No One Can Deny that Smoking Pot is a Slide into Trouble
Not to mention family values, there are a couple of HUGE problems that no one can deny, with kids smoking a little pot: Studies show that a young person who starts with mild substances, such as weed, the risk and probability of it becoming a gateway to harder drugs is much worse. You want to nip your daughter’s experimental behavior in the bud (no pun intended) before it becomes a bigger problem.
According to research, marijuana use is associated with alcohol and other illicit drug use and is generally the first drug used by teenagers who enter a sequence of drug use. First it is one weekend a month, then 2-3 times per month. Then they start smoking weed every weekend, then midweek, then every other day, and then daily until it’s totally out of control. For parents, your mission is to keep your child free and clear of weed for as long as possible.
Another HUGE problem is that certain important parts of a teenage brain receives growth during adolescence, such as the prefrontal cortex, which controls impulse control, consequence realization, organization and planning. The limbic system controls goals, emotions and dreams. The cerebellum governs coordination, movement, understanding and emotional maturity, and the corpus callosum regulates the neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain and dictates how quickly we can access information. Yet, another part controls memory functions. Each of these vital parts of the brain primarily develops during adolescence.
I Rest My Case!
Here’s the important part: Interrupting the development of these brain functions, through marijuana use, can have lifelong effects on brains that are not yet fully developed.