Marijuana facts for teens

To the Editor,

Dear young people of Brooke and Hancock counties.

If you were thinking everyone uses marijuana, they don’t. In fact, when asked, 89 percent of Brooke County teens and 87 percent of Hancock County teens say they didn’t use marijuana in the past month. (2016 DFC 4-core measures, Brooke & Hancock)

Some think marijuana is okay to use because it’s “natural.” But not all natural plants are good for you — take tobacco, for example.

Some teens believe marijuana can’t be that harmful if states are legalizing it. Legal or not, one real risk is addiction.

In 2016, around 4 million people ages 12 and older had a marijuana use disorder. The most severe form also is known as an addiction.

Research also shows that marijuana can harm the developing teen brain.

My goal is to give you the straight facts so you can make smart choices and be your best self. We hope you will continue the conversation and share this information with your friends, parents, teachers, and others. For more information, visit: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana.

Valery Staskey

Project Coordinator

Youth Services System, Inc.

Prevention Services