Colette Wilson: Educate yourself on marijuana |

Colette Wilson: Educate yourself on marijuana

The recent surge in the cannabis culture has been overwhelming to some and outright horrifying to others. I was taught that drugs kill … especially illegal drugs! Alcohol use was discouraged, but the level of parental concern over binge alcohol drinking was at a minimum. My parents were highly educated with bachelors’ degrees, heavily involved in the religious community and both had life-long careers in the medical field. When suspicion of alcohol was observed, the issue was minimally addressed, repeat offenses were sometimes ignored and never did my parents express a concern over the possibility of death occurring from drinking alcohol. But, what happened when my parents suspected the smoking of a “marijuana cigarette?” Police dispatched, immediate medical attention attempted, followed by the mandated 30 days in-patient drug detoxification or treatment center. This story is not unfamiliar.

Parents become concerned over their student’s dropping GPA, lack of interest in school, spending more time away from home and more time with peers, and often hear their child complaining of frequent illnesses. Finally, if the suspicion of marijuana use comes into account, the parents are quick to blame their child’s change in demeanor on the one joint Johnny smoked after his sophomore prom. Interestingly, when counselors assess the history of the Johnny’s self-medicating behaviors, the discovery of long-term, often extreme alcohol binge drinking is uncovered. Yet the focus of the treatment remains on a marijuana-related disorder.

When the facts are uncovered, the use of cannabis for teenagers is rarely recommended, but it cannot kill them. Alcohol is a lethal drug, first by the chemicals that destroy the brain and other body organs and secondly, by impairing motor skills leading to the early death of millions. Loss of interest in school, increased aggression, defiance, frequent illnesses – these are signs of alcohol abuse and poisoning! Please do not ignore these blatant signs of alcohol related disorder.

No one in the recorded history of mankind has ever died from cannabis consumption … ever!

Cannabis is safe, in the sense that it has never caused a human’s death. However, almost 500 people a year die from Tylenol poisoning. Overdosing on Tylenol can be lethal, and yet it is available to anyone at any age. A quick glance at death statistics related to alcohol consumption creates a wave of terror realizing that the “legal” alcohol is killing our young people. By not educating themselves on the short term and long-term effects caused by alcohol consumption, parents are forced to accept that death from alcohol is now a major epidemic.

Knowledge is power. If you are going to gain control and change your child’s self-medicating/self-destructing behaviors, you MUST educate yourself. Education is the solution. Without acquiring your own foundation of knowledge and education, are you qualified to educate your child on the dangers of drugs and alcohol?

I do not advocate alcohol use; even for recreation. It is a deadly drug, albeit legal. I do, however, plead for education. Citizens must clearly understand the mystery behind the marijuana madness, the fear, the strongly held beliefs and the politics that eventually lead to our country outlawing a fibrous plant, cannabis. Food, shelter, clothing, and medicine from the same plant … and medicinally cannabis is safer to consume then even Tylenol.

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