Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jan 2012
Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)
Copyright: 2012 The Macon Telegraph Publishing Company
Author: Bryan Watts
Note: Bryan Watts is a resident of Kathleen.


I just want to bring to light and let you know that there are more 
illegal drugs available to our high schools today than I can ever 
remember. I have I have been teaching for 12 years now. I have heard 
of or seen students in previous years that got "busted" here or "got 
caught" there, but never to the degree that has occurred this academic year.

Parents, I am asking you to please talk to your children about the 
life changing affects that can occur not only from prolonged use, but 
also about what can happen if they are caught with drugs on their 
person or property.

Read these statistics I have come across from the website There are stronger forms of marijuana available to 
adolescents today than in the 1970s or 1980s.

Stronger marijuana means stronger effects. Research shows that more 
than 40 percent of teenagers try marijuana before they graduate from 
high school. Marijuana has adverse effects on many of the skills 
required for driving a car. Driving while high can lead to car accidents.

Marijuana users may have many of the same respiratory problems that 
tobacco smokers have, such as chronic cough and more frequent chest 
colds. Marijuana smoking affects the brain and leads to impaired 
short-term memory, perception, judgment and motor skills.

Marijuana messages that teens get are mixed, and this is definitely 
not helping the situation. They need to clearly get the message that 
marijuana is an illegal substance to use and it can affect their 
lives in more than one way.

If they do not get this message one way or the other, there are no 
chances for teen marijuana statistics to improve. Marijuana is more 
common than alcohol. You don't need a fake ID to purchase marijuana.

Some of you might be reading this and thinking, "My child would never 
do drugs, they are in the Beta Club, captain of a sports team or 
cheer squad, class officer, homecoming court, makes honor roll and is 
active in church."

My wife and I thought the same thing; our son was a senior class 
officer, homecoming representative, Beta Club member, two sport 
letterman and captain of the basketball team. Drug dogs brought to 
the school parking lot detected traces of marijuana residue in his 
vehicle on a device labeled as drug paraphernalia.

Due to the "Zero Tolerance Policy" of our school system, he was 
expelled from his high school and has to attend alternative school. 
He cannot go to the prom, cannot see his team play, and cannot even 
set foot on or at any school function at any school in our system. 
Yes, this can happen to your child.

We love our son more than anything and will help him get through 
this, hard as it may be. Love your child by talking to them, asking 
them questions that are uncomfortable for either of you, and let them 
know that you care enough about them so they won't get busted.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom