Alcohol and tobacco companies are upset that teens are turning to weed first. They must be losing billions of dollars and lifelong customers. Cannabis or marijuana as it has so improperly been dubbed over the decades has gained the stigma of being a gateway drug.
According to research from a study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence teens aren’t smoking more cannabis. They’re just smoking fewer cigarettes and drinking less. Cannabis consumption numbers have held steady to what they’ve always been according to a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Katherine M. Keyes.
“Teens used to try alcohol first, then tobacco, and then marijuana. Now marijuana is increasingly the first gateway substance for adolescents according to research.”- theverge.com
Research is showing trends that point towards cannabis becoming a choice for teens over cigarettes and alcohol. While some might argue this is a problem based off of reefer madness propaganda, it should show exactly the opposite. If anything, it shows that there might be hope for the future after all. If our teenagers are able to distinguish the dangers of alcohol and tobacco versus cannabis consumption we have hope. Sadly, our elected leaders and many medical professionals choose to ignore scientific research and anecdotal facts.
A Recent Survey
A survey conducted of seniors in 1995 reported information that cigarettes were first consumed by 3/4ths of seniors who used both tobacco and cannabis. Fast forward to 2016 and that number changed to only 40%. Did the same number of students participate each year? Or did the number of students increase from 1995 to 2016 as the population did? Were the same students questioned or were new ones surveyed?
Information that comes from these surveys is a waste. They are not controlled and do not contain anything relevant for the most part. Are conditions such as mental health, and genetic illnesses taken into factor in these surveys? Most likely the answer is no. Were these surveys only focus on public schools versus private or charter schools?
What straight-lace prohibitionists fail to understand is the only reason most people who consume cannabis ever turn to smoking cigarettes is to cover up the smell of weed. That and to have a reason for having a lighter and ashes on or around them. Those who continue to support draconian marijuana prohibition fail to understand what this plant represents and is.
Which Would You Rather Your Teen Consume?
Would you rather have your teen out drinking to the point of having to go to the hospital or smoking weed to the point of having to take a nap? Would you prefer your teen to smoke cigarettes and develop lung cancer and smell like a butt or would you prefer them to consume cannabis discreetly? Cannabis has loads of medicinal benefits. You can’t say the same about alcohol or tobacco. Both alcohol and tobacco are addictive substances with a proven track record of disease, death, and despair. Some of the only negative side effects of cannabis are incarceration, and persecution, in addition to being demonized by family, friends, co-workers, employers, and peers.