New On-line Magazine Illustrates for Teens the Dangers of Marijuana
(Washington, D.C.) The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is giving teens the information they need to “pass on pot.” Stumbleweed, a new on-line magazine for teens, illustrates the consequences of marijuana and provides teens with relevant facts about the impact of marijuana on the body and brain; the problem of drugged driving; the truth about medical marijuana; and how the drug can sabotage a teen’s future. The magazine is an addition to DEA’s award winning teen website, www.justthinktwice.com, which has received 49 million “hits” since its inception in August, 2005.
“Teens want and need to know the facts about marijuana,” said DEA Administrator Karen Tandy. “DEA is reminding kids to ‘just think twice’ about what they hear about marijuana from their friends, popular culture and adults. Think about the harm drugs cause to families, the environment, to innocent bystanders. Think about how drugs will impact your future: your health, your chances for a good job, your eligibility for student loans.”
The good news is that even though America’s young people are still bombarded with messages that marijuana use is a rite of passage and a normal part of adolescence, teen marijuana use has dropped by more than 19% since 2001.
Stumbleweed presents marijuana information in a straight forward, and sometimes entertaining way. The topics contained in the on-line magazine address some of the misconceptions teens have about marijuana. Articles titled “It’s Just a Plant: How Could it be Bad for Me?”, “Hey Dude, Where did my Future Go?”, “Totally Lame (and Dangerous and Illegal) Things to do on Pot” and “Rx Pot: A Prescription for Disaster” provide teens with facts and data related to marijuana use and consequences.
In addition to the new feature on marijuana, justhinktwice.com contains material on methamphetamine, prescription drug abuse, steroids and “club drugs.” DEA’s site continues to provide teens with information on the legal consequences of drug trafficking and manufacturing and provides them with thought-provoking “real life” scenarios and their legal responsibilities in the areas of drugged driving, drug-facilitated sexual assaults, and providing drugs to their peers.
The site also links to other existing websites which have additional information for teens, including U.S. Government and private organizations’ sites. Medical information, especially regarding the impact of marijuana on the body and brain, is accessible through direct links to scientific studies.
“DEA is providing primary source information to help teens make good decisions. We’re taking them directly to the data and objective sources of medical, scientific and legal information,” Tandy emphasized.
Teens also can learn first hand about the tragedies of drug use through the personal stories of young people who lost their lives to drugs. “There is no more powerful message for teens than hearing from their peers about the impact that drugs had on other young lives,” added Tandy.
In addition to Stumbleweed, the site has seven other sections: Got Meth? (a focus on methamphetamine); Costs to Society (consequences of drug use on the non-user and society); It Can’t Happen to Me (drug facilitated sexual assault, drug overdoses, drugged driving, drug testing, student loans); Fact and Fiction (marijuana dangers, the myths of legalization); Drug Facts (information on the dangers of particular drugs, federal penalties associated with each drug); Hot Topics (current items of interest); and Today’s DEA (major cases and profiles of DEA career employees).