Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché
I am a guidance counselor for an inner city high school and the amount of marijuana use in the students here has completely skyrocketed. Not only that but the amounts and quality have completely changed. We used to confiscate small baggies out of lockers, now its jars of pharmaceutical grade marijuana. These kids really believe marijuana is no big deal but these same kids also can’t fill out simple forms. I swear it makes them retarded. There is so much talk now about medical marijuana. These kids think it is a vitamin we all should be on as according to the internet testimonials it helps just about everyone for everything. Does it? Can anyone not become a useless lump using it? It is hard for me to imagine this is so.
With some people, you would be surprised to learn they smoke pot because they don’t ever show it on any level. However, a lot of stoned people just act stupid; the stoner stereo type doesn’t come from nowhere.
Medical marijuana is appropriate for some people; I even have a few clients I would recommend it for, off-the-record. But many people who use it shouldn’t. Most medical marijuana use isn’t purely medicinal on any level, it’s recreational. For these users, it is no different than alcohol and can do more damage overall than good.
People see marijuana as being safer than cigarettes, especially as most people smoke less of it than others smoke cigarettes. But cigarettes effect in your body lasts for about four hours whereas marijuana lasts in your brain for about a month. This means there no such thing as moderate use of marijuana. It acts on the brain and some effects can be long lasting or even permanent. With any medication the benefits of use must outweigh the risks. There is no reason whatsoever for teenagers to be smoking pot but whatever their parents do, they will do.
Pot is especially detrimental for teenagers as it works by giving them distance from feelings. Whatever coping skills teenagers practice will be the coping skills they continue to use for the rest of their lives. Denial and avoidance are bad coping skills and the most detrimental for quality of life. Marijuana is a very effective form of denial therefore one doesn’t learn how to deal with adversity in any way other than ignore it.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
OK, I have a few issues to take with the information Dr. Brilliant has given out.
First, this statement: “cigarettes effect in your body lasts for about four hours whereas marijuana lasts in your brain for about a month.” Please! If cigarettes only affected your body for four hours, they wouldn’t kill so many people with cancer and other diseases from long-term use. Dr. Brilliant is trying to compare a brain effect to a toxic tissue effect. They really can’t be compared. I do hope he is not advocating cigarettes over pot because he thinks the effect is only temporary.
Second- although pot can be an effective way to fog the brain, unlike antidepressants and alcohol, it does not dampen feelings, it often exaggerates them to an even greater degree, especially paranoia. If one is trying to avoid feelings, pot is not the best way to do it.
But back to the point at hand- actually, most people are incapable of self-regulating ANYTHING they indulge in including exercise, sex, TV, work or alcohol. Let’s face it- most people just plain act stupid without any excuse at all except bad inner mythology.
I do have to say though- young kids should not be smoking pot any more than they should be drinking alcohol. If they use substances to alter their mood at this point in the game, they will always be dependent. PLEASE- develop your brain before you start filling it with alternative chemicals! Smoking pot in early life is like fueling up a Ferrari and taking it out for a spin before you learn how to drive. The results can be deadly.