Those who say a 21-year-old age limit on marijuana sales solves the problem of youth exposures are dreaming . . . society is porous . . . where there is more pot, more pot falls into the hands of young people.
Adolescent development is a stage where the brain does not process long term consequences, and it is a time of egocentrism and a strong need to figure out peer relationships and find a place to belong.
The euphoria of a cannabis high, when it falsely appears “all the kids are doing it” can trump what well intentioned adults have told their kids about the rules.
We are seeing the highest levels of youth marijuana use in 30 years. And it is a much more potent drug this time around as profiteers seek to deliver the most impactful high to eager consumers looking for just that.
As Colorado officials seek to determine safe levels of THC exposure in a marijuana “serving size”, marijuana merchants chimed in saying that “remember, marijuana consumers are looking for intoxication”.
The data is showing what indulging that impulse is doing with a growing percentage of young people who are swept up by the rush to release this drug onto the masses.
“Study findings suggest that adolescent cannabis use is linked to difficulties in successfully completing the tasks that mark the transition to adulthood,” study author Richard Mattick, a professor of drug and alcohol studies at the University of New South Wales and his co-authors concluded.
“Prevention or delay of cannabis use in adolescence is likely to have broad health and social benefits.”
The associations between increasing adolescent marijuana use and sad discouraging outcomes couldn’t be clearer.
– 60% less likely to complete HS
– 60% less likely to complete college
– seven times more likely to commit suicide
– increased levels of depression, anxiety, psychosis and other mental health ailments.
Now young people see new reports and ads from pot profiteers who say they’ve smoked weed everyday since they were 13 and are doing fine. And it appears they are doing a fine job — of selling pot. Other measures of success are less clear.
When an Ivy League MBA makes the cover of major national publications touting the wonders of weed and speculating on a coming green rush, the social impacts are clear: adolescent marijuana use is at a 30 year high. A person with privilege and an IQ of 140+ can afford to drop 6-8 IQ points and his life won’t change much. If he can’t hold a job, he’s still got resources to support him — and now many of those resources may be from drug sales.
But the average kid has an IQ of 100. Eight IQ points will drop them into the lower third of the range for intellectual function. That makes opportunity become much more limited.
Marijuana use among college students at a 3 decade high:
Study: Teens who smoke weed daily are 60% less likely to complete high school than those who never use:
Marijuana use by teens linked to problems in young adulthood: