November of 2017 marked a milestone for marijuana. The previously illegal drug was legalized in California, causing waves of delight and despair to ripple throughout the state’s population.
On Feb. 24, Officer Wilson, of the La Mesa Police Department, spoke to a group of Helix student’s in SADD Club about marijuana’s physical and mental ramifications. He began with an overview of current California laws, then further explained how current marijuana products differ from those used prior to the 21st century. His aim was to further educate Helix students on the recently-legalized drug through an informative Q&A session.
“To legally be able to purchase marijuana, you have to be 21,” he began.
“The problem we’re seeing as law enforcement is that back in the day, the potency was about 20%. Now, it’s at 90%,” Officer Wilson continued.
And he’s not exaggerating.
“Potency used to be around 10% or less, but it’s been bred upwards over the years, presumably because the market has demanded it,” Forbes reported.
This increase in potency, though, isn’t necessarily beneficial to most. While a stronger drug may help treat pain, schizophrenia, alzheimer’s, and other illnesses, marijuana has harmful effects on physical and mental health. Such side-effects are particularly detrimental for students as they impair scholastic abilities. Wilson stressed the drawbacks of a student’s use of marijuana.
“It’s good for some people, but your education is gonna go downhill, for one,” Wilson expressed.
Studies back up his claims, too. Numerous reports show that marijuana has harmful side effects – both short and long-term.
“Memory loss, panic, problems with coordination, impaired thinking and ability to learn,” are common side-effects, reported CNN.
This is in stark contrast to the prevailing belief that marijuana is a harmless drug, a fallacy as baseless as thin smoke. Rather, the drug has harmful side effects which can impair one’s quality of physical as well as mental life. As an added precaution, Wilson illustrated several past cases of marijuana abuse which he encountered thorough his professional career.
So as marijuana becomes increasingly accessible to Californians, experts and officers agree that it would behoove students to keep a cautionary distance from the drug, especially during finals week where memorization and concentration skills are vital.
As the age-old adage says,
“Don’t do drugs, kids.”