Pot smoking rises sharply among teens, despite risks

  • Article by: SHARYN JACKSON and WARREN WOLFE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 8:08 AM

Marijuana use is now more acceptable to teens than cigarettes, but few realize the potential harm to their bodies or the risk of addiction.

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jway86Oct. 16, 12 3:16 PM

Cannabis is about as addictive as coffee and is far less harmful and less addictive than alcohol. We could GREATLY reduce the amount of harm and addiction in society by giving people the right to switch from the more harmful drug, alcohol, to the less harmful drug, cannabis. It is outrageous that our elected officials actively prevent this reduction of harm in our society!!

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pigmanOct. 16, 12 4:15 PM

@jway86 coffee IS addictive

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jway86Oct. 16, 12 4:41 PM

@pigman I'm completely aware of that, but it's nothing like alcohol, heroin or tobacco now is it. If you don't have it for a few days you might feel a bit grumpy and have a little trouble sleeping but that's it. There's no reason to make coffee illegal and no reason to keep cannabis illegal!

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luzhishenOct. 16, 12 5:54 PM

Safer than tobacco or alcohol - not without risks, but safer.

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copper88Oct. 16, 12 7:35 PM

It's time to legalize marijuana and put a tax on it. This drug war has gone on way too long and its effects on our society has been ghastly, from enabling drug lords to for-profit prison systems. Time to say "No" to the war on drugs.

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brileyOct. 17, 12 6:10 AM

It all seems easy to say legalize it until you have that first conversation with your teenage children. Gun to head, do you want your kids smoking pot? Simple question and simple answer. Of course this world isn't so simple. I can assure you that if you never smoke it there is a 0% chance of addiction. Having children that struggle with substances is a battle you do not want to have. The conversation has to be taken to very extreme levels if progress is going to be made.

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hjlazniOct. 17, 1210:06 AM

"She mostly smokes on weekends, and only if she doesn't have anything else to do." I don't remember any time in my life whence I had nothing to do. In this individual's case, I had hoped Title IX and the revolution in girls and womens sports would present young women with more to do.

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ClewinOct. 17, 1211:12 AM

Marijuana is largely decriminalized (fines, but no jail time) in Minnesota, so I'm sure police will jump in and say that is the reason, but the reality is we are dumping our money into policing and enforcement of anti-drug policies instead of educating people on the negative effects of these substances and addictive qualities. The government should take an economics class - attacking supply increases demand (did we learn nothing from prohibition? Apparently not). Sure they attack demand and throw people in prison in most states for any drug use, but even the guy I know that got 25 years for drug dealing and served 7 didn't get clean until he had to pass urine tests as part of parole. How wrong is that?

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dmogckOct. 17, 1212:08 PM

A half ounce a DAY???? You would have to be smoking constantly.....I'm not even sure that's possible!

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viktorvaughnOct. 17, 1212:29 PM

Hazeldon and the rest of the for-profit treatment industry are grasping at straws when they try to stigmatize marijuana. There is no credible link between marijuana and lung cancer. None. A recent study showed zero link between marijuana and respiratory problems. And brain damage is an old refer madness red herring. In the 70's they suffocated a bunch of monkeys for days in marijuana smoke, and claimed marijuana caused brain damage, conveniently ignoring that the real cause of brain damage was lack of oxygen. No credible study has shown brain damage, including many that set out to prove exactly that.

So all that's left is this gateway nonsense. Kids have obviously cut through the DARE hype to realize they could enjoy a little marijuana without ruining their lives. The last three Presidents admitted to smoking it, for goodness sakes. But the danger is when kids assume the hyperventilating adults were exaggerating about meth too. Which they were not, meth will eat your brain and turn you into a POS zombie, but the anti-drug crowd already blew their credibility by lying about marijuana. Then there's the real epidemic with kids, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS -- whether prescribed or self-prescribed they are what threatens this generation. Maybe non-toxic herbs just need lobbyists on par with PHARMA.

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