Marijauna use on campus

Photo courtesy of National Institution on Drug Abuse

Photo courtesy of National Institution on Drug Abuse

Marijuana poses a threat to teenagers, including students at FHS where there have been incidents of its usage on campus.

In a recent study done by the CDC, 22% of high school students in the U.S. have reported using marijuana in the last 30 days, and 37% of students reported a long time use of marijuana. This increase is further supported by Verywell Mind, a site for mental health related news, which claims that from 2017–2020, the number of high school seniors who smoke marijuana has more than doubled, with more than a fifth of seniors having reported vaping THC, the active ingredient in Marijuana, within the past year. 

“It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t smoked at least once,” an anonymous FHS freshman said. “I mean, it’s just a thing that most people my age have done before, because it’s just so easy to get access to.” 

Marijuana is legal in the state of California for consumption by those over the age of 21, and its use is widespread across the country. In a study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in 2018, around 11.8 million young adults used marijuana in the past year, and 19 states, including California, have legalized marijuana for recreational use. 

“With the rise of e-cigarettes and what not, it seems to be easier to consume [marijuana] without getting caught, but that actually makes it more dangerous, in a way,” FHS Dean Connor Smith said. 

According to the CDC, negative effects of teen marijuana use include difficulty in problem-solving, reduced coordination, social problems, as well as issues with memory and learning. In this same article, it is stated that one third of high school students have reported use of marijuana. Many students at FHS have been affected by this drug that is usually deemed safe, and much of that can be blamed on peer pressure.

Peer pressure is something high school students are familiar with. However, with teenage drug use rising, it is getting harder and harder to not fall victim to this.

 “I think [peer pressure] happens to everyone,” an anonymous FHS student said. “I was peer pressured into smoking by my group of friends. I didn’t want to do it, but there were a lot of people around and I didnt want to look uncool, so I did it anyway. And now I do it everyday.” 

Firewall Times says that 85% of high schoolers have experienced peer pressure. Based on the student interviews, it is obvious that this statistic also applies to students at FHS, which is very worrisome since 70% of teen marijuana users started as a result of peer pressure.