Photo by Saulo Cruz from Flickr

By Margaret St. Pierre

THIS JUST IN LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! Recent and totally riveting studies done by the The Partnership at Drugfree.Org and the MetLife Foundation have found that teenagers do in fact use marijuana on a regular basis. The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study showed that a stunning 1.5 million teenagers have smoked the devil’s lettuce up at least 20 times a month!

Crazy right? Teenagers smoking weed….good joke right? Part of me can’t even believe this is actually news but, despite it’s utter wackness, I still have a few things to say on the matter.

Marijuana use has hit an all time high! Usage has gone up 80% since 2008, an impressive growth in my opinion. Last time a study showed such an increase in smoking weed was in 1998, where usage was up 27%. I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely comforting that so much of the population has found it fitting to sit back and smoke some weed every now and then.

The dudes at the are not so enthused about the results of this study (even though, lets be real, what did they really expect?). Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership at  used the word “disturbing” when commenting on the study. He expressed serious concerns for high school students who are smoking cannabis regularly, warning us all that using marijuana “can spell real trouble for these teens later on.”

“Heavy use of marijuana — particularly beginning in adolescence — brings the risk of serious problems and our data show it is linked to involvement with alcohol and other drugs as well. Kids who begin using drugs or alcohol as teenagers are more likely to struggle with substance use disorders when compared to those who start using after the teenage years.” – Steve Pasierb, from redOrbit

Apparently smoking weed has become far too “normal” for the youth’s own good. 71% of the teens surveyed in the study say that they have friends that like to smoke pot. On the flip side, 26% said that marijuana use wasn’t an issue in their schools. Teens however aren’t to blame for their lack of judgement according to Pasierb. He is blaming parents for the boost, claiming that they aren’t taking the issue seriously enough.  Apparently Mom and Dad are putting too much of their focus warning their kids about the dangers of  heroine and cocaine, leaving the world of prescription drugs and cannabis consumption free to explore.

Dennis White, President and CEO of the Metlife Foundation offered a bit of advice to the non-tokers of America.

“The latest findings showing an increase in marijuana use among teens is unsettling and should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in a position to prevent unhealthy behavior. While it may be difficult to clearly understand just how dangerous marijuana use can be for teens, it is imperative that we all pay attention to the warning signs and intervene anyway we can. Early intervention is critical to helping prevent teens from drug abuse and addiction.” – Dennis White from redOrbit

Does this sound bogus to anyone else? It’s totally bizarre that the generations before us have forgotten about the 60’s and 70’s (a period of time I like to refer to as “the Golden Years”). Smoking weed has been apart of youth culture for has long as history has documented marijuana use. I am curious to know what exact “dangers and risks” Pasierb and White speak of when commenting on the not so new smoking habits of teenagers. These guys were probably smoking all sorts of things during those Golden Years and they turned out fine. Where’s the danger in packing a pipe and listening to your favorite Beatles album?

It is my righteous and firm belief that the “man” of today’s society (in this case, Steve Pasierb and Dennis White) is scared to death of the way our generation will revolutionize society. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we are on the verge of a political explosion- we’re sick of war, sick of debt, sick of loans, and sick of all these oppressive rules keeping us from living and loving to our fullest potential. Luckily we are able to take comfort knowing that we are the future! Soon enough we will have the power to make some necessary changes most of the population has craved since the new millennium. Whether they like it or not- marijuana will most definitely be legalized within our lifetime. We, like the many generations before us are simply looking to be free, have fun, and get high whenever we see fit.

While I do see why teens smoking weed might spark a level of concern among adults, I think it’d be much more beneficial to start teaching the facts about marijuana and the many ways it has helped people throughout history. Clearly we are not scared of the stuff so it’s obviously time for a different approach. Proper knowledge can only lead to smarter decision making, and that’s all these guys really want, right? The fact of the matter is that teens are gonna smoke weed whether it’s legal or not- it’s about time the government stops tip-toeing around the facts and accept marijuana for what it really is…awesome 🙂


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