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As marijuana laws change, more teens think drugs are safe

Utah police, addiction experts fear shift in attitudes

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  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    I find the acceptance of pot frightening. Even some politicians are claiming it's "safer than alcohol." Well, some people drink alcohol with their meals or have one drink and stop. Not everyone who drinks drinks to get drunk. Pot smokers smoke dope to get high. And, no, I don't believe it's harmless. Unfortunately, many Americans have come to believe getting doped up is a right. Hopefully, one day, people will realize mood altering drugs are dangerous and unhealthy.

  • cassandove Tampa, FL
    Feb. 8, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    In my opinion, people should be less harsh toward the use of marijuana - which, may I add, has many medical benefits for cancer patients, people suffering with epilepsy/related problems, and people with severe depression, anxiety, and other mental/emotional disorders.

    The war on drugs should never have started with marijuana. It should have started with cocaine, methamphetamine, and other hard drugs. Putting people in jail for how they use a plant that comes from the earth is absolutely ludicrous.

  • peacemaker Provo, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    Why is it that society (ie.Colorado) has such an uneducated attitude toward adding another abusive substance to the present ills of society? No rationalization can ignore the fact that legalized marijuana use will make it permissible and desirable for use by thousands who now avoid it's use because it is illegal. The past fifty years have proven that marijuana use can lead to the upgraded use of cocaine, heroin and other destructive substances. Aditional evidence exists regarding the destructive health complications resulting from the use of marijuana.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:04 a.m.

    Who would one look to for advice? Pot heads? Who would you look to for employment, a pot head.
    Who would one look to for leadershipo, a pot head? This is why some ofour present generation of young adults are finding it so difficult to get ahead....they follow the wrong stars.

  • malcolmkyle NEW YORK, NY
    Feb. 9, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    Alcohol (United States) is a factor in the following:

    * 73% of all felonies * 73% of child beating cases * 41% of rape cases * 80% of wife battering cases * 72% of stabbings * 83% of homicides.

    According to the Australian National Drug Research Institute (2003): "The research into the global burden of disease attributable to drugs found, that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (only 3 percent of all drug-related deaths)." Marijuana doesn't get a mention.

    According to DrugRehabs.Org, national (USA) mortality figures for 2009 were: tobacco 435,000; poor diet and physical inactivity 365,000; alcohol 85,000; microbial agents 75,000; toxic agents 55,000; motor vehicle crashes 26,347; adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000; suicide 30,622; incidents involving firearms 29,000; homicide 20,308; sexual behaviors 20,000; all illicit drug use, direct and indirect 17,000; and marijuana 0.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 9, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    People who think pot is harmless remind me of the old adage, "All people see the world, not as it really is but as they really are."

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    In general, teens are not stupid. When adults use scare tactics, and they go too far in demonizing "sin" and those who participate in it, smart teens catch on to the deception. They see the studies and arguments about the affects of marijuana on health, and they figure if adults and religious leaders are over reacting to this, then they are probably over reacting to alcohol, tobacco, premarital sex, pornography, gambling, cursing, and all the other "sins".

    The lesson to be learned here is to cease the hyper-inflated, overzealous fear mongering and use of scare tactics. Fear has never been a good motivator of behavior. Parents and Church leaders should never - and I mean never - employ fear tactics in a misguided attempt to get youth to follow "the Commandments" or teachings of the Church. And it should go without saying that parents and Church leaders should never inflate, embellish, or misrepresent the consequences or harms of "sinful" behavior.

    Youth should always be given the facts and the truth. If we don't know, we should admit that, not pass on wives' tales, myths, and false information.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    Alcohol is not safe and no one should drink any alcohol. It is carcinogenic causes cancer, cirrhosis of the liver and a host of problems and DUI's cause many deaths. Marijuana is a drug whose dangerous side effects must be made known to children and teens and adults. It results in a lowered Intelligence quotient in teens, results in reduced brain blood flow and is the most common cause of stroke in teens and young adults. it produces schizophrenic changes in the brain and psychotic behavior. You take marijuana your are a dumbo. IT isn't cool.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    Just ask the relatives of the 70,000 people in Mexico who have been killed due to the Cartel wars if taking drugs is harmless. 50% of the drugs travel from Mexico to the US is Marijuana.

    If we are going to allow marijuana to be sold legally, the same laws should say that the producers and sellers of the drug also be held liable for all medical conditions caused by marijuana. Then lets see if they think it is still worth selling. We should do the same with alcohol and tobacco products. No need to tax them, just require anyone who develops a medical condition related to the use of those products to have their medical treatments paid for by tobacco and spirit manufacturers and distributors.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    @bloodhound
    If not everyone drinks to get drunk doesn't it go to say not everyone smokes dope to get as high as they can?
    Teens should believe Marijuana is more safe then they have been led to believe because they have been fed lies.
    Marijuana is still listed as a schedule 3 drug, as dangerous as Heroin. Sometimes is just best to let the truth come out. ITS NOT as dangerous as any schedule 3 drug. So until the truth is told people will just believe the people spouting drug propaganda less and less. Sorry you are scared of it, perhaps you won't be if you educate yourself on the subject.

  • JIMMYLIMO WEED, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    This is a stilted and misleading article. Utah youths pattern of drug use is identical to the national increase. What you didn't mention is that while pot use is up, adolescent alcohol & tobacco use is down ! And while adolescent pot use may decrease IQ a few points later in life (or may not), it won't kill them, like addictive and toxic alcohol and tobacco will. Ideally they should use no intoxicants, but if they must, pot is by far safer than booze, which by the way is the #1 date-rape drug in America. Give the whole story, Pat, or don't write at all !

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    I have never used marijuana, but I observed the lives of many high school friends who did. It changed their personalities and their way of thinking, and these changes were permanent. A day later, I could detect the difference after the first use.

    Marijuana is a psychoactive drug. It diminished ambition, reduced initiative, and retarded emotional maturity. My friends quickly discarded inhibitions, and engaged in increasingly risky behavior.

    None of them died from marijuana use, but two died from the risky behavior.

  • the REAL DEAL Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    Like everything else in this world we all believe what works best for us. Anyone who says alcohol is safer than marijuana knows nothing about it. Those who haven't ever tried either have to rely on whatever information they get. The problem with people is moderation. We can eat, sleep and work out too much also. Common sense and will power would keep any substance from becoming a burden to the user. Moderation in all things people not some things.

  • sandydog5 Big Bear Lake, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    @Elcapitan Who would one look to for medical advice, a politician?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    This is truly a foolish issue. Being a student I hear it argued by young people all the time, like it's some personal issue with no social consequence. If only these people knew the people I know. Marijuana changes you, and not in good ways.

    /////

    Dr. Howard Samuels, a Psychotherapist and expert in rehab treatment and addiction, gave the following statements:

    "[Regarding Marijuana]... psychoactive substances produce emotionally crippled adults."

    "This isn't supposition; I have been working in the field of addiction for almost 20 years. This is my expert opinion. And it's an opinion born of the thousands of addicts I've come into contact with, and helped- down through the decades."

    "Is that the society we're passionate about becoming? A "loaded" society?"

    /////

    Dr. D. Stuart Dunnan, a school Headmaster, said the following:

    "The chemical effect of marijuana is to take away ambition. The social effect is to provide an escape from challenges and responsibilities with a like-minded group of teenagers who are doing the same thing. Using marijuana creates losers. At a time when we’re concerned about our lack of academic achievement relative to other countries, legalizing marijuana will be disastrous."

  • benjoginko Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    @ Flower Mound, TX.

    do you also want all food producers held liable for people that have no self Control and eat themselves into Diabetes. People need to be responsible for them selves and what they do to their bodies. Someone drinks to much and ruins their liver that is sad but their right. Someone drinks to much and gets in a Car well that is different they are now putting my rights at risk. Do I think marijuana is good for you? No in most cases but I can say the same about many drugs I take. If taken and used correctly they are a blessing to us. The same can be said of food. eaten in moderation great eating in ridiculous quantities it will kill you.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:04 p.m.

    Can someone please explain the concept of recreational drug use. I cannot fathom what they are talking about. Either you use drugs or you don't. Getting high on marijuana is not my idea of recreation.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    Why so many advocates for a Nanny State. The tea party started this freedom from government control movement. Now they can roll the tea and smoke it in Colorado.

  • Herbie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:17 p.m.

    Like many have already said. When We lie to kids and tell them that Marijuana is worse than alcohol and tobacco we lose their trust when they figure out for themselves that that is not the case. The Statistics don't lie. We need to be rational and logical about this and stop with the tired lies of the war on drugs. A war in which we have spent over a trillion dollars on. Where else could that money have gone? It disturbs me to think about all the people's lives we have ruined because they were smoking a little Marijuana and got caught. Not to mention the tax dollars we spend to keep them locked up.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    For everyone that is so frightened of marijuana. Nobody has ever overdosed on Marijuana it is so much safer than alcohol, tobacco, and other "legal" drugs.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    For years the standard parental reasoning has been "Don't use marijuana, it's illegal." There has been no other discussion about it. If the only reason you don't do something is because it is illegal, then there is no reason not to do it if it becomes legal.

    I have no problem with marajuana for medical purposes, but if you are going to tell people not to use it recreationally, you need a better reason then because it is illegal.

    @ NeilT: Taking drugs to get high is recreational drug use - taking drugs to treat a medical condition would be non-recreational use. Many drugs that are legal for medical purposes are used for illegal recreational purposes as well. Marajuana has been proven to have a high efficacy for treatment of many medical conditions, including treating the side effects of cancer treatment drugs.

  • PhilDeBowl Grant, WA
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    @Caset See
    " Just ask the relatives of the 70,000 people in Mexico who have been killed due to the Cartel wars if taking drugs is harmless. 50% of the drugs travel from Mexico to the US is Marijuana"
    The federal government created the deadly cartels,if adults were free to grow their own the marijuana cartels would not exist.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    Kalindra,

    You're right. Many legal medicinal drugs are illegal for any other use, but we're all smart enough to know that 99% of teenagers who want it aren't asking for help with seizures or physical pain.

    If pharmaceutical companies want to make an oil, great. I could care less. But the majority if arguments I heard in school were coming from students who already chose to break the law. The more illegal-drug-users that get degrees and get considered "reputable"... the more there is nothing "reputable" about this issue anymore.

    It isn't good for us physically.
    It isn't good for us mentally.
    It isn't good for us socially.
    It isn't a basic human right, it's an option (a self-destructive one).

    So the fact that it's as important as it is to everyone is truly remarkable. If people want to turn America's laws upside down, they ought to move. Peace can't exist by shoving everyone out of your way. Peace can if you simply go elsewhere and live with people who share your values.

    If you want Marijuana, Colorado REALLY isn't that far to move.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    After reading many articles from this "newspaper" along with the typical closed minded Utah County rational apparently I should not be so surprised any longer regarding the simple lack of knowledge and intelligence from most readers regarding a plethora of topics. Now I understand this is quite difficult for the masses to believe here in Utah but there are many individuals that are not Mormon or even religious. Yes. I'm aware hard to believe one would be so free thinking in today's society. Therefore religion (of any kind) has absolutely no relevance with marijuana use! If so I believe the passage in The Bible reads, "I give you all the seed bearing plants & herbs to use". Simple basic research shows that marijuana does not in any way effect one's intelligence or productivity in society. After all it did not hinder me from earning two Ivy League Degrees. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  • DKBlack Riverdale, UT
    April 13, 2014 4:50 a.m.

    I have been working since i was 14, I can also write scripts in C# and Javascript, I own my own home, Never been fired from a job, And have completed high school.

    I do not drink alcohol, i have not done cocaine, meth, heroine, etc.

    I am also a regular smoker of marijuana, had to quit multiple times for pre-employment screening with no side-effects.

    now tell me again why marijuana is so bad?

  • sensible advocate slc, UT
    Sept. 9, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    "But the percentage of 10th-graders who admitted using marijuana at least once in the past 30 days surpassed those who drank alcohol." "alcohol use remained flat"
    Alcohol has been legally regulated so people see it in society and there has been an honest discussion around it. Scientists have found Marijuana is not good for the developing brain. It is neuroprotective for elderly people and increases neuro-pathways. We have achieved non-increasing alcohol use by letting the science speak.

    The article mentions in increase but what are the actual numbers? What percentage of kids are actually using marijuana? I was told by an employee that East and Judge have a reputation as a bunch of rich kids that use drugs. Did the author talk to any students from the west side or other parts of Utah about the environment in their schools?

    It is also not clear how many of those students who use pot in high school then go on to college or professional careers and ultimately to be productive members of society.