The perceptions many teens — and often, their parents — have about pot are not only wrong, they can be dangerous, say medical and treatment professionals.
An ongoing study of the behaviors and attitudes of teens and young adults has found that while teens aren’t necessarily reporting higher use of marijuana, they’re less likely to consider it “risky.” The 2013 Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that from 2005 to 2013, the percentage of high school students seeing great risk from being a regular marijuana user has fallen among eighth-graders from 74 percent to 61 percent, and among 12th-graders from 58 percent to 40 percent. This concerns members of the medical community who say that pot is bad for developing brains.
We asked a few professionals in Colorado to address some of the questions teens often ask about pot.
Pot isn’t addictive — is it?
Isn’t it basically harmless?
Isn’t it safer to drive while high on pot than on alcohol?
Pot is medicine, so it’s OK, right?
My parents smoked pot when they were growing up, so why shouldn’t I?
Pot doesn’t cause cancer, does it?
Isn’t pot a good way to chill out?
Everyone is doing it, so why shouldn’t I try it?