Marijuana: Helpful or Harmful?

Marijuana has come so far over the last couple of years, but just as it brings many positives it brings many negatives for our youth. It’s recommended that young adults not use marijuana until the age of twenty-five because of the development of the brain. Times are changing and it’s time someone talks about all the risks of marijuana. So we will be discussing why students use drugs and how it affects them academically, physically, and socially.

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Why would anyone smoke marijuana, the reasons are actually deeper than most people would think. Most parents and teachers think students use drugs to be delinquents or that they were raised wrong, but that’s just not true. Substance abuse does not discriminate, no one regardless of whether they come from a good family or have a high GPA is immune to drug abuse. Peer pressure is a factor of why, what is peer pressure? Influence from members of one’s peer group and it plays a role in increased pot use over time. Weekend parties that include weed, alcohol and other mind altering substances are in full effect in American communities. But who told teens and young adults it was something cool in the first place, the media which it is used in Movies, Music videos, and Television now more than ever. They only show the positive of the drug never the negative impact it can have on one’s life. So to feel glamorous people smoke it to be like the people they see on the screen, to be popular.

Stress is also something that can impact how someone feels and why they would find the need to feel better. Financial stress alone is at an all time high brought on by the cost of college, including the dread of debt and fear of not getting a job after college. Having to move back in with Mom and Dad, for some being homeless after graduation is associated with increased risk for depression and anxiety in college students. Which leads me to my next topic students smoke weed to reduce anxiety and depression. One in five college students have anxiety or depression and at alarming rates. In the latest ‘Center for Collegiate Mental Health’ report anxiety and depression are the main reasons that college students seek counseling. But for those that can’t afford counseling what other alternative is there that is cheaper and more affordable than a counselor, weed. Stress of trying to get into a good school and keep good grades to be able to stay in that school it is not uncommon for students to seek chemical assistance.

How do drugs impact students academically? Many people think that smoking weed can help them emotionally but don’t think about the impact it can have on someone’s grades. ‘College Life Study’ studied more than one thousand and two hundred students grades throughout college from start to finish, affecting each student’s GPA is: skipping class. ‘What we found was that skipping class was related to GPA over time and, that marijuana use is related to skipping class’. Some college students plan their college schedules to have time to smoke or drink, so they have some recovery time. A new survey out of the nonprofit addiction center, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, has found that one in three college students living in New York City has gone to class high. That’s another state but the young adults are the same, I’m sure people in Mississippi have also done the same.

More than enough times teachers are aware of the fact that their student is high and oftentimes says nothing, because they were young once too and reminisce about college days. Instead of asking that student if everything is okay and if they would like to talk or even ask if they’re addicted, until eventually they become another face in the crowd, until they aren’t because they stop showing up. Students also have a decreased focus when they smoke weed, so that assignment that’s due tomorrow can wait, and then it can wait until later. Then the assignment is due and you have nothing and more stress is created by the cramming you might do for the paper or, screw it and they don’t do it at all. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to miss one assignment until one assignment becomes every assignment that week or in that class. It is also the cause of poor academic scores, with the lack of concentration and focus, doing a literature paper or research paper is out of the wind. Many students don’t feel the need to come to class or just don’t feel like it, they probably don’t feel like doing much after smoking and they won’t feel like doing much after the high is gone.

Marijuana has come to the realm of science with many positives but life is a balanced force and for every positive there has to be a negative. Memory problems are linked to young adults smoking weed in copious amounts. THC changes how information is processed part of your brain called the Hippocampus, this in turn can affect your ability to form fresh memories. While it won’t cause blackouts or amnesia, the drug can cause short-term memory problems, fuzzy thinking and forgetfulness. In a study on rats that received THC everyday for eight months they lost as many brain cells in the hippocampus as rats twice their age. Smoking marijuana can also weaken your immune system, and make you more vulnerable to infections. It makes your body natural immune system weaker against fight off HIV and other diseases. Smoke from marijuana combustion has shown to contain many of the same toxins as cigarettes. Marijuana is linked with chronic bronchitis and lower respiratory infection and has been shown to injure the airways in permanent damage. The heart is also at risk with every joint, blunt, and bowl sparked. Limited evidence suggests that a person’s risk of a heart attack during the first hour after smoking is nearly five times his or her usual risk. Marijuana raises the blood pressure and heart rate and reduces the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen. It has also been linked with ‘ Orthostatic Hypotension’ which is a head rush or dizziness when standing up, which raises the danger of fainting and falls.’

Drugs can also affect you socially and not always for the better, while it may seem it makes you popular it can lead to addiction. Marijuana can affect your perception and judgment, which can make you vulnerable to making some pretty poor decisions. Maybe going home with this person isn’t actually the best idea, maybe staying up past your normal curfew isn’t the best idea. When you’re high you probably don’t think about what you shouldn’t be doing, but only what you want to do. It can cause delinquent behavior and can lead to rifts between friends and family and can lead to isolation. Isolation is probably the worst thing that you can do when smoking weed, you have no outer influence when making decisions and you feel like you can’t ask for them. If it’s something you can’t tell someone even your best friend is it really something you should be doing?

Addiction is something that can happen without you knowing it especially if it’s the last thing on your mind, you think, this is the last time you’ll smoke that after this you won’t buy anymore. But you’ve used it as a coping mechanism for so long that nothing else can help when it gets out of hand. you may find yourself skipping classes because you don’t feel like going, slipping in and out of depression and smoking helps. Violent outbursts especially if someone tells you maybe you should lay off, high risk sexual behaviors such as sleeping with someone with no condom or not seeing the need to use one. Forgetfulness, maybe you forgot that your paper was due or you were supposed to pick your brother or child up from daycare. Trouble with the law isn’t usually too far off from where people are in their habits, and that can add more stress to someone in any situation. Your mind is the best thing that we have, and is the only weapon we will ever need. sometimes it can feel like the end of the world, and it’s ok to ask for help. yes it’s true Marijuana is used for depression and anxiety but prescribed by a doctor who can monitor these things. Sometimes reaching out to someone who knows you such as your parent or teacher or older sibling even is better than lighting up.

Ask yourself if you’re addicted to Marijuana and get to the first step of helping fight that addiction. There are so many negatives to smoking this drug or eating this drug or even drinking this drug that is it really worth compromising your body over for years to come for a situation that won’t be the same in a couple of months maybe even years. I hope that by writing this paper someone has been reached and that if they are struggling with Marijuana addiction they will get help, or maybe reached someone who hasn’t smoked before and is thinking of doing so.

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Marijuana: Helpful or Harmful?. (2022, Sep 29). Retrieved December 6, 2022 , from

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