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Archive for August 5th, 2013

Anti-Pot Campaigns Face New Obstacle

By Jamie1

Gabrielle Abesamis said she and her classmates at Niles West High School in Skokie receive plenty of information about marijuana from their health teachers, but when it comes to using the drug, some of her peers shrug off the lessons and just say YOLO — “You Only Live Once.”

With medical marijuana now encoded into Illinois law, she said, that attitude will only strengthen. “Even though it’s for medical use, I don’t think that matters to them,” said Abesamis, 17. “The fact that it’s legal for some people to possess it, they feel it’s OK for them to have it too.”

Illinois on Thursday became the 20th state to legalize pot for some medical patients, and although lawmakers say the rules will be among the toughest in the nation, educators and treatment experts worry that putting a partial stamp of approval on a once-forbidden drug will send a confusing message to young people.

“What happens with teenagers is (that) they begin to have that medicine-versus-drug argument,” said Andy Duran of Linking Efforts Against Drugs, an educational group based in Lake Forest. “They begin to think it’s not harmful or it’s not addictive because it’s a medicine.”

Teen views about the risks of marijuana have been easing for more than 20 years, according to the University of Michigan’s authoritative Monitoring the Future study. In 1991, about 4 in 5 high school seniors believed that people put themselves at great risk by smoking pot regularly. In 2012, fewer than half shared that opinion.

Attitudes appear even more casual around Chicago. The Illinois Youth Survey, which polls students about alcohol, tobacco and drug use, found that only a third of suburban teens and a quarter of those in the city believed that smoking pot once or twice a week brought great risk.

“Already, adolescents perceive marijuana to be not …read more

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CannabisNews-MedicalMarijuanaMarijuanaNewsHempCannabis/~3/Iq3XbWBIWI8/

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