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South Burlington is the fifth largest city in Vermont with an approximate population of 16,500 people. It is located in western Vermont along Lake Champlain. South Burlington takes pride in their educational system, recreational activities, parks and city services. It is a mixture of suburban areas and commercial locations. The city of Rutland, Vermont does face a marijuana abuse problem especially in teens and young adults.
Marijuana affecting teens and young adults
Marijuana use and experimentation has long been popular with teens and college students throughout the country and also in Rutland, Vermont. Marijuana is widely available in Rutland and teens and young adults can easily find access to it. Marijuana use in teens and young adults can lead to many dangerous consequences. It can lead to the use of poor judgment, driving while under the influence, addiction and the use of harder and more serious drugs. Marijuana has long been considered a “gateway” drug. The term gateway drug refers to the use of a drug that in turn results in or leads to the use of more drugs. Citizens of Rutland, Vermont worry that the use of marijuana in teens in young adults will result in the abuse of harder and more dangerous drugs.
Marijuana (the gateway drug)
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a widely popular drug in the United States. Slang terms for marijuana include pot, weed, grass, bud, trees, reefer, dope, ganja and mary jane. Marijuana is considered a psychoactive drug that comes from the preparation of the flowers, leaves and stems of the cannabis plant. The use of marijuana by humans has been documented for centuries and dates back to the third millennium BC. The cultivation and use of marijuana was a widely acceptable in the United States until the twentieth century. The first state to criminalize marijuana was California in 1913. Marijuana became nationally criminalized by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
Marijuana is most commonly consumed by smoking the flowers, stems and leaves of the female cannabis plant but it can also be eaten. There are many different tools people use to consume marijuana smoke. These tools include pipes, water pipes, bongs, hookahs, rolling papers to roll it into cigarettes or “joints” and tobacco leaves to roll it into “blunts”. The effects of marijuana include lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, sense of calmness or relaxation, paranoia, fatigue, memory loss, decreased motor skills, decreased alertness, trouble concentrating, distorted perceptions, increased appetite, relief from nausea, anxiety, pain relief, increased laughter, loss of motivation and mood enhancement. Marijuana is often referred to as a gateway drug. This refers to the idea that people first experiment with marijuana and then the use of marijuana results in the use of more dangerous drugs.
While there is no hard evidence that marijuana use leads to the use of harder drugs there is a correlation between the two. Many abusers of drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines site marijuana as the first drug they experimented with. Not all people who experiment with marijuana or consume it regularly will experiment with or use other drugs. The consumption of marijuana can be very dangerous for teens and young adults because the intoxication caused by marijuana can lead to injuries and car accidents. It also makes it harder to fulfill responsibilities due to side effects such as memory loss, lack of motivation, fatigue and drowsiness. Marijuana use may also effect teens and college students while in school because consuming marijuana can lead to decreased motivation, trouble concentrating, and distorted perceptions of reality.