This last week a I spoke to six more high school classes about what it does to you and your loved ones if you choose to use drugs.
During one class I had a vocal student that questioned my opinions on smoking marijuana. During these talks I don't hold back on my experiences as the parent of an addict or what I observed happens to a young person that makes that initial choice to use drugs and then become addicted.
This 14 year old student began his comments as, "What's wrong with a little smoke?"
At the beginning of my discussion I preface everything with I am not here to be another person telling you not to use drugs. My whole reason for being here is to provide you real life examples to what could happen to you and your loved ones if you make that choice to use.
"What's wrong with a little smoke?" First of all it is illegal. If you are dealing with someone that is using or supplying an illegal substance you will be or eventually be exposed to other illegal substances. There is the danger of an unknown product, who regulates the quality and composition of this product? There is always the risk of arrest.
This student then wanted to engage in an argument as to the merits of legalization of marijuana. Not going there. That's not the purpose of my being in the classroom.
The student is stuck on his issue and subject re-surfaces again later in the discussion. My questions to the class, "Is weed a "gateway" drug? If you smoke weed will you become a heroin addict? Not everyone that smokes weed becomes a heroin addict, but I have not yet met a single heroin addict that didn't smoke weed first, which one are you? I've never met a heroin or meth addict, or cokehead that started with heroin have you? Do you believe that someone just wakes up one day and decides, today I am going to stick a needle in my arm?"
As the end of class alarm sounds and the students are leaving, "I don't care what you say, I am not going to stop smoking."
I know 14 years old may be too late to start talking, but what do you say to your 14 year old when you hear, "It's only a little weed."