“If you have the money, you can get cannabis, no problem.”
That’s according to a 17-year-old Londoner. It may sound disturbing but kids worldwide are buying weed despite the fact that marijuana is still illegal in most countries. Just look at the numbers of young marijuana users admitted to hospital with mental health problems.
What’s causing the numbers to go up is kids are smoking high strength strains that are more addictive and possibly more damaging to the body.
The report compiled by drugs policy think tank Volte Face also found that in the past five years, convictions of young people for supplying cannabis in England and Wales have risen by 15% and 26%, while adult prosecutions have fallen sharply.
Why ‘Weed is Easier For Kids to Buy Than Alcohol’
Did you know that it is easier to find weed on the streets than in dispensaries? If you are underage you are not allowed to walk into a marijuana dispensary and walk out with a bag of weed plus if the person behind the counter breaks the law, that person may lose his/her business. However, street dealers have no problem with selling weed to 12-year-olds and teenagers. Such dealers won’t ask for a marijuana card or an ID, meaning as long as your child gives the person money, he or she will get some weed.
Should You Be Concerned?
If you are a parent, you should be concerned, why?
To most kids, marijuana is a safe drug. Meaning, to them, smoking pot is not a big deal. The issue is marijuana is now stronger than it was 20 years ago. There is also the issue of tolerance; the thing is, the more you smoke the more likely it is you will build a tolerance for weed. If that happens, you will need increasingly higher doses of THC or highly potent strains to get high. This may lead to problems such as:
- Changes in the brain: in young users, cannabis can affect the parts of the brain that play a role in our ability to pay attention, multitask and remember.
- Anxiety and depression: chronic users are more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and or depression.
- Respiratory problems: smoke is very bad for your respiratory system. If you are exposed to too much of it, you may develop problems such as bronchitis, chronic cough, wheezing and more mucus.
- Addiction: Although marijuana is not as addictive as let say cocaine, some people, especially young users, develop an addiction to it.
- Criminal charges: if your child is caught selling or smoking weed, he or she may face charges. The problem with getting convicted of a crime at a very young age is it closes lots of doors for your child.
- Drug testing: THC can stay in your system for a very long time. Some schools and colleges require drug tests before they accept your application, meaning, you may lose out on an opportunity because of something you did a month ago. Here is how to flush out THC from your system fast.
How to Protect your Child from Drug Abuse
As a parent, it is important to keep yourself current. The best way to do that is to simply talk to your kids and pay attention to what is happening in your neighborhood. You must be thinking “But, but I don’t know how to do that” we got you covered, read this.
If you don’t have the energy to click, here is what you need to know. To make this work you should have regular discussions (not lectures) from an early age. The point is, don’t bullshit your kids, instead, tell them the truth and be a good role model.