78% of Teens say Close Friends use Marijuana

Legalization of marijuana in several states along with the continuing debates to legalize THC in other states has changed how teenagers perceive the harmful effects of THC. In fact, some teenagers believe marijuana is less harmful and easier to obtain than alcohol.

According to Grand Forks Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, 78 percent of teens now say they have close friends who use marijuana and 41% of these teenage users admit they began using the drug before the age of 15. The primary reasons for using at an early age are to fit in with their peers, to relax, to have fun, and to escape reality. Thus, responsible parents must play a more prominent role in educating their children of the dangers of all mind-altering substances such as marijuana and the harmful effects are the still-developing brains of teens.

Since the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses, doesn’t fully develop and mature until age of 25, teenage THC usage can noticeably effect the behavior of the teen user.

The Coalition says behavior signs of teenage THC users include:

  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Lack of judgment
  • Spontaneous and impulsive actions
  • Risky decision making
  • No planning or scheduling
  • No thought of consequences or accountability

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