North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Accessible weed is negatively affecting the youth

Courtesy of Annie Tumang

Since marijuana has been legalized in many states throughout the US, the drug has become attainable to almost anyone. In 2021, the AAC (American Addiction Centers) reported that almost 5 million young adults and 1.3 million adolescents had an addiction to marijuana. Not only is this harmful to young adults, but even children as young as 12 years old. Most 12 year olds should be learning how to do fractions, not drugs.

There has been a spike in the use of marijuana in states where it has been legalized. CNN ran a test where they watched the use of marijuana in multiple sets of twins, one living in a state where the drug has been legalized, and one that lives in a state where it is still not legal. The search pulled that there has been more than a 20% increase in usage where the drug was still legal. 

Although marijuana seems to be less addictive than other drugs, regular use can lead to addiction through the amount of THC consumed through it. Excessive or regular use of the drug can lead to serious issues including, but not limited to breathing issues, short term memory issues, and even symptoms of schizophrenia. These effects are all detrimental to adults, making them even more harmful to children.  

As children grow up, their brains need to develop. The use of marijuana slows down the process of brain development, which will hurt academic performance and make a child’s life much more dangerous. Doing any sort of physical activity while high can seriously hurt the child and anyone around them, sophomore Sophia Espinoza says that “It messes up their brain and it prevents them from learning well, when kids feel the effects of marijuana, it’s harder for them to learn, they aren’t able to learn what is necessary in class. They won’t be able to work properly.”

Groups like The D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) educate children about the harmful effects of a drug addiction and how to make good decisions. The program has been shown as very successful in teaching about drug abuse, and studies even show that it drives children away from drugs.

Marijuana usage is a worldwide problem, and it needs to be stopped. There’s so many ways that you can help someone around you fight the battle against this drug, such as finding healthier ways to cope with difficulties and stress, and maybe even finding help through professionals.

If you or someone you know struggles with a drug addiction, reach out to 1-800-662-4357, the SAMSHA National Helpline. 

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About the Contributor
Annie Tumang
Annie Tumang, Review Editor & Social Media Editor

Annie Tumang is a sophomore at Niles North. This is her second year writing for NSN, and she is the reviews editor. She is interested in music and writing reviews

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