Pot: The reason and the limit

Essay by HumbickHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2004

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Why do they do it? Why do people need to smoke up? And for those that don?t smoke up, especially teenagers who are surrounded by smoking friends, how come they avoid it? What is the reason behind the decision of every teen who says ?yes? or ?no? when the green leaf comes their way?

In 1999, an estimated two million people above the age of 12 tried pot for the first time (www.samhsa.gov). The drug is most prevalent among the youth of our nation, as roughly two-thirds of all marijuana users in the United States are aged between 12 ? 17, and nearly the entire remainder of marijuana users is aged 18-24 (www.samhsa.gov). Even more proof that pot is most common among our youth and young adults is provided by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as they state that the average age of new marijuana users in 1999 was 16.4

years old for males, and 17.6 years old for females. So what do the people of these age groups say about marijuana, and why they do it?

When asking students who smoke pot, all between the ages of 17-20, there was one pattern that was easy to decipher about the reason why these students smoke pot; they do it because it is fun. ?I like the way it feels?, ?It makes me feel good?, ?It?s fun to be high?, and ?It takes the edge off? were the first reasons for about 88% of the pot smokers that were interviewed. One can conclude that these students simply want to have a fun time. There were several instances, however, where weed was not used simply to ?enhance the sensation(s) (of doing something fun)?. One of the pot smokers said ?The answer is simple: I?M NOT HAPPY?. He...