After hearing so many stories about the perils of drug abuse, I wanted to aim today’s column directly at America’s youth. What follows is a vital health warning and some frank talk about addiction. I understand that many of you are good people, but the lesson we need to learn is that even good people can fall prey to the marijuana menace.
An associate in law enforcement called me up early this week with the urgent news. A bad batch of grass has hit the streets and it’s putting users at risk. You might not consider yourself a burner, a stoner, an addict. Maybe you’re just a “weekend warrior” taking a hit or two off a joint on a Saturday night. Maybe you’re just trying to “get in” with the fast crowd at school. Whatever your story, you need to learn this and learn it real quick: Pot won’t make you cool and it won’t solve your problems.
Not only does reefer make you slow and lazy, it’s also been proven to cause lung cancer, schizophrenia and heart disease. “Hey man,” you might say, “those are old people problems.” Well, here’s the 411 from my cop buddy and you’re not going to like it: a new high potency strain of “Silver Haze” mary jane is causing an epidemic of warts among kids just like you. That’s right, we’re talking about big purple bacterial pustules on your hands, your lips and every corner of you body. You dig it?
Pretty soon Mom and Dad and that sweet girl at school will know you’re a pot junkie and part of a pandemic. How does that sit with your future life plans? Say goodbye to college, marriage and a good job. You’re marked and that mark can be seen clear across a room, be it a classroom or a prison cell. Who will want to get near you now? You’re a contagion and your disease isn’t just the cannabis pumping through your veins.
Don’t believe the pot propagandists. They’ll sell you on the idea of mind blasting trips and deep spiritual kicks, while stuffing every last penny of your allowance into their back pockets. They prey on the immature and ignorant, from the melvins to the thrill-seekers. They want you hooked. They need you hooked. The secret these weed dealers won’t tell you is that they, too, started off just like you. That’s right, they were naïve and unhappy once and a grungy puff of the reefer stick seemed to blast them off far away from their squaresville hang-ups. Pretty soon they were jonesing for a harsher joyride, and then came the heroin, the “magic mushrooms” and the crystal meth. Now they’re addicts, scrounging around from one day to the next. Disowned by their friends and family, they have to steal and deal to feed that itch for a ganja fix. They’re junkies– pot junkies, crackheads, meth addicts, daytrippers– losers one and all.
Many of you are probably saying, “That can’t happen to me!” right about now. Listen to the story of Molly Murgenson and think on it. Molly was once a normal high school kid with a very bright future. Cheerleading squad, AP English and a boyfriend named Dylan. Everything seemed to be looking up for the popular blonde athlete. But over the summer, she fell into a different crowd at the shore. They wore black shirts and smoked cigarettes. They were from the big city and talked an awful lot about sex. Molly was shocked, but before long she wanted more than anything to be accepted by this “hip” and “off the hook” crowd. Late one night down at the beach, Pedro offered her a drag of his marijuana pipe. “One suck can’t hurt, can it?” she thought. The drug made her nauseous and anxious, but she smiled so her newfound friends wouldn’t think her a “Debbie downer.”
It didn’t take long for Molly to move right into the stoner scene. She started talking back to her Mother and stealing from her Father. She used sex to stay popular with the multiethnic city boys. And when the summer ended, she brought her hemp habit back to Middleton High School. Boyfriend Dylan didn’t like the taste of her kisses, Coach Jones found her lethargic and awkward. Her grades dropped and hopes of college quickly faded. With all the heavy vibes in her life, Molly turned to chronic, kush, giggle ganja, lethal diesel and many of the other hardcore marijuana types sold in back alleys and public school bathrooms. She stayed up all night riding her hookah high and all day she tried to sleep the blues away. Crying, frantic, hurting… Her face was covered in pimples and her hair grew ratty. She didn’t care anymore about her looks. And even though it never felt as good as the first time, that mad reefer rush was her new best friend.
No one was surprised when Molly dropped out of school. No one was shocked when she ran away from home. The rumor was that she went to live with her “boyfriend” Tyrone. Now it’s Molly’s mother who spends her days crying and her nights sleepless. The shame of knowing that her daughter is a lifelong slave of dope and destruction keeps her from small talk at the market. Father prefers a back pew at church these days, far out of view of his old friends. Marijuana addiction has brought the whole family down.
It’s a sad story but not an uncommon one. Tens of thousands of girls fall prey to the marijuana menace every year. Men like Tyrone sweep them off their feet and into the world of ghetto prostitution. It’s been three years now since Mom and Dad last heard from Molly. If she’s been exposed to the weed wart pandemic (and it’s almost certain that she has), her career as a street hooker won’t last much longer. The business survives on fresh meat and Molly Murgenson is yesterday’s news. What are the odds on a wart-faced ex-hooker with a pot problem? Sometimes Molly’s mother considers her daughter’s fate. Sometimes she wonders if Molly wouldn’t be better off dead.
How about you? Do you want to take Molly’s place? Think about that the next time someone offers you a “blaze” of their “primo” pot. And you might want to tell your Mother to stock up on the tissues.