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Study Finds More Kids Smoke Pot Than Cigarettes - It's Still Illegal

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Marijuana use among Penticton's youth mirrors a recent national survey that
found more teenagers smoke pot than cigarettes.

"I would agree with that study," said Danny Highley, a Pathways: Addiction
Resource Centre counsellor, who deals with drug abuse at Princess Margaret
Secondary School.

"There is so much information going into tobacco prevention and in many
ways, we have got tobacco addiction in our society on the run."

The study - a Health Canada poll released this October - found marijuana
use has reached a 25-year peak. Fifty-four per cent of 15- to 19-year-olds
said they had smoked marijuana more than once.

Cigarette smoking on the other hand continues to decline among young
people, with the latest national figures showing that 22 per cent of teens
smoke regularly, according to the survey.

Marijuana is still considered "cool" among youth, said Highley.

"And many, many parents are very permissive about marijuana and kids learn
from their parents."

Other possible reasons behind marijuana's popularity include its high
potency, availability and confusion about its legal status, said Highley.

"We are in a grey area right now with legislation," he said. "A lot of
people think marijuana is going to be legalized. What they (the federal
government) are talking about is decriminalization."

Under the proposed legislation, marijuana use would result in a fine,
rather than a criminal conviction.

"I'm actually not opposed to that, but young kids lack the sophistication
and life experience to be able to decipher those messages," said Highley.
"They think it is going to be legal anyway. A lot of them use that as a
green light to use. Unfortunately, some parents interpret that as well."

While marijuana may not cause the same physical dependencies as other
drugs, it is far from harmless and can be addictive, he said.

It can cause an emotional and mental dependence, said Highley.

"What happens is that people end up in a space in life where they feel like
they need it to function, to have a good time, sort of like some people
treat alcohol. They need it socially...and marijuana does some of that."

Pubdate: Tue, 18 Nov 2003
Source: Penticton Western (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Penticton Western
Contact: westedit@img.net
Website: Penticton Western
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i don't like this article...fuck cigarettes, more people smoke weed because it tastes great and gets you laughing silly. Cigarettes get you stinking horrible and if anything a little lightheaded/nauceous. They don't do it because it's a "social thing" although it makes weed all that much better. As a matter of fact i see kids who start smoking cigarettes do it as a social thing in my old high school there was a section it was pretty much a party like of 100 if not more kids all crowded smoking cigarettes inbetween classes, almost made people want to join the social crowd. It's either you want to get high or not.
It's true that you can become dependant on weed. I did. I went through some really tough times and smoked out every day for a year. I spent probably 60-80 bucks a week on it, because I just HAD to have it in order to deal with all the bullshit in my life. I drowned my sorrows in a bong, so to speak, which isn't what smoking weed should be about. I was using it as a crutch to run away from life and my problems rather than turning around and dealing with them. Fortunately, I snaped out of it and I smoke much more moderately now. But if the fucking government actually educated peope about drugs intead of feeding us propaganda, I might not have learned the hard way.