Marijuana Use and the Effect on Teens.

Essay by mrpandaxdHigh School, 10th gradeA, December 2005

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"It just helps you get through the day, you know? Helps you relax. It's like an illegal form of Paxil or a mental massage." This quote is taken from a 17 year-old honor student (who shall remain nameless for her protection) who started smoking marijuana at 16. She was in the top 11% of her class with prospects of being a psychologist and living in New York by 23; However, she is now presiding in the barrios of Houston, married to a drug dealer, and gets high every night to forget this. Marijuana is one of the most predominantly used drugs amongst teens. Through research via Internet and literature sources, on can see that frequent marijuana use can have lasting effects and serious damage to the teen age mental state. So how and what exactly does marijuana damage the mind?

Marijuana is "a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant.

(Its also called) pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic." -definition obtained from "Some studies show that deep inside the brain, THC (the most psychoactive chemical compound inside marijuana) may suppress the neurons of the hippocampus -- where short-term memories are processed and sent to other brain areas for storage. As a result, the ability to learn and to remember recent events may be hampered."-from Marijuana; at Issue, by William Dudley. Some other side effects of marijuana use are dilated blood vessels, red eyes and inflamed nasal tissue, chronic bronchitis, and it may lead to cancer. The irritating smoke can do damage to delicate tissues in the lungs and airways, sometimes leading to lung infections. Its also possible that the THC in marijuana could impair white blood cells from fighting infections. Moreover pot damages "the pituitary...