From Senior, Female: Marijuana is arguably one of the most prevalent substances used at Morgan and within our Clinton community. Although usage has been reported to have decreased by more than 50% since 2010 it still seems to be a huge problem. Even with a decrease in reported use there is also a decrease in perception of harm. When youth do not see a substance as very harmful they will probably be more susceptible to peer pressure because they are not aware of the risks.

Marijuana can be seen as “healthy” by some since it has become widespread in the world of medicine. This could account for some of the decrease in perception of harm. A good sign is we have seen increases in peer disapproval which shows youth believing their friends would not approve of them using marijuana. I think if peers who disapproved of the substance were more vocal then more students would rally against it. Many who dislike the idea of marijuana use are scared to say something because of the fear of how people will view them. Since over 65% of students are getting this marijuana from friends and family that shared it with them – I wonder if they feel obligated to partake when they know it is wrong.

I believe if students were more educated about the effects such as; damage to your lungs and brain development, they might think twice before using marijuana. Having a legalization in Connecticut would worsen the problem because many teens might see it as the state permitting usage. What many teens do not understand is they might get marijuana that is laced with something else, something possibly deadly. I encourage those who refuse to abstain to at least do their research about the harms and risks presented.