High school students say marijuana is no worse than alcohol, expert disagrees

More students are lighting up and saying they do not consider it dangerous

New research from the National Institute of Public Health at Syddansk Universitet reveals that far more young people are smoking cannabis than in recent years.

Since 1996, the percentage of high school girls that have tried smoking marijuana increased from 19 to 31 percent. As for the boys, that figure increased from 26 to 50 percent.

READ MORE: Young Danish males smoking more cannabis than previously estimated

Substance abuse expert and psychiatrist Henrik Rindom said that it can be a problem for young people’s concentration and learning abilities if they start smoking marijuana. Their brains are geared for maximum learning during the years that they attend high school.

Choices, choices
“These are the years where they acquire the knowledge they need to leave the rest of their lives,” Random told DR. “Smoking too much cannabis inhibits the brain’s ability to learn.”

High school student Martin Thing said that he thinks cannabis is no worse than alcohol.

“You can do just as many stupid things drinking alcohol as you can when smoking,” Thing said. “I don’t think about the consequences.”

Thing says his plans for the evening help decide his chemicals of choice.

“It depends on the impact you want,” said Thing. “If you want to relax, you smoke, if you want to party, you drink.”

Thing said that he would “fall asleep” if he smoked before heading to a party.