Contributions were made to this story by Emma Riley, Will Gescheidle, and Drew Foley.
Marijuana has been prevalent issue long before we were in high school, and it will continue to be around long after we all graduate. Yet, it seems as though the drug’s popularity–and, of course, its legality–has changed with our generation. With the legalization of medical marijuana and talks of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois to provide revenue, it is more heavily discussed in the media than ever before. Not to mention, new technologies–like JUULing or “dabbing”– are providing different ways to get high, as well as developing an easier access route to young smokers. Studies have shown an increase in the use of Marijuana in high school students in recent years. Looking for a story, a few of our journalists at TFS went to talk to our peers and get their opinions on the matter. We asked what they know about pot, personal stories, and if they have noticed change in usage during their time at the high school.
*all quotes used in this story are anonymous
“I am not really an avid weed smoker. I’m a big fan of everyone making their own decisions and with that, the consequences involved. Plenty of people at our school smoke a lot and are good people and do well in school, so I don’t think it should be a big impact.”
“I smoke about everyday. I think it is a smart thing to do to bring in revenue for our state. It should be legalized for the same reason prohibition ended. I think there will be little to no effect considering the legal age to smoke cannabis will be 21 years old.”
“People are high at school all the time”
“I remember the first time I smoked freshman year–it was, like, this insane thing to do and if you did it you were a bad kid. But now, it’s almost weird if someone hasn’t tried it. It has become much more standard and normal for kids to do”
“I see it a lot more today than in the past. It is becoming more accepted into society”
“You never know where weed is coming from anymore. You can’t just take a hit of a random person’s blunt, there will be consequences…”
“Weed is better for you than alcohol. I’ve heard parents say that to their kids.”
“I smoke probably three or four times per week. I would say it has gotten stronger because I am starting to feel more dumb all of the time. There are actual statistical facts that the potency of THC is growing.”
“People are using it a lot more now.. it’s a lot more kids. Kids aren’t smoking straight up grass anymore, they are using CO2 oil or straight up dabs [Concentrated Cannabis Oil], or 300 milligram edibles and it’s becoming easier to conceal and use anywhere”
“I’m not anti-weed by any means, but I’ve seen firsthand how smoking weed leads to other drugs that end up almost ruining someone’s life, so I’m not a big fan. Even though a lot of people say it’s physically impossible to get addicted to weed, the other side effects can be almost worse”
“Marijuana is still prevalent, but it has changed–there are more dabs now, less grass.”
“I was high in Colorado once and I threw up. Normally I literally can’t move, I can’t feel my body, which is why I don’t smoke anymore. I later found out it was laced and had to go to the hospital. So my message in that is be aware”
“I used to think it was not a big issue and I was fine doing it, but then my dad was talking to me about it on a drive home and said that some of his friends got really into it and became dependent on it, which led to other drugs, so this really scared me away from it.”