I have always been against any form of drugs; marijuana is one of them. I’ve watched my brother succumb to the lures of opiates and barbiturates, which he usually paired with the marijuana plant to “enhance the experience”. Supposedly intended for the betterment and recovery of the human body, these substances only made him worse. You see, he has always been a sickly child. He survived off on medicine growing up, but as a teenager he eventually discovered that these pills could do more than just make his health improve. In them, he found a false sense of fantasy, an escape which entrapped him further.
His once friendly face turned hollow and sunken. Family dinners that used to be warm and cozy turned sour, mostly ending with him walking out on confrontations. He turned to so-called “friends” who only supplied him of these obsessions. At the beginning, we were clueless. His transformation was gradual, which started with an unyielding temper and isolation. It became worse overtime, which took a toll on his physique. Soon after he was expelled from school, as one of his teachers caught him reeking of marijuana. Upon further investigation, the school authorities found out that he was one of the main suppliers. Where he got the stocks, we’ll never know.
All we know is that my brother – bright, caring, charming – was no more. I remember my parents crying over hearing the news. We thought it was bullying, or his mental health at stake – perhaps so, but it was these substances that completely destroyed him. People continue to argue that marijuana has medical benefits. It may be so, but what of opiates? What of cough syrups? What of all these supposed medical wonders that lure people in to dependency and later addiction? Marijuana is currently illegal in my state, and I firmly believe that it should remain so. Teenagers, like my brother, fall prey into its clutches. They seem to think that marijuana is harmless, only a little friend helping you have a good time. It’s always the friendly faces you have to watch out for, though, as marijuana is a gateway drug. Once it has lured you in, you’ll crave for more potent drugs – heroin, cocaine – which will eventually destroy your life.
Most people also seem to believe that marijuana poses no danger at all. You smoke it, you get high, and that’s it. Smoking, though, has already been proven to cause lung cancer. Although disputed by those who believe in marijuana, I’ve heard of stories depicting how people succumb to it. There are also cases of heart failures brought about by marijuana overdose. Teenagers smoking marijuana, in particular, are in great danger. Studies prove that marijuana causes brain functions to drop, and this makes them perform poorly at school. Furthermore, it makes them more susceptible to other drugs. Such is the case with my brother, who readily embraced dangerous substances.
There’s a reason why marijuana remains to be illegal in various states across America, along with the rest of the world. Its dangers are apparent, and people fail to realize the kind of consequences it asks for in return. My brother is certainly paying for his; currently at a rehabilitation center, his recovery is a long and painful journey. The withdrawal symptoms are real, and visiting him hurts us as much as it hurts him. He visibly shakes, pleads, and lashes out. Thankfully, there are good days – and these days are cherished, as we are given hope that my once charming brother still exists somewhere, under all that mess. We’re quite lucky, indeed, that my brother was discovered by his teacher that day. We’re lucky that he got expelled, that we finally found out what was wrong with him. It may sound all wrong, cruel, but it’s these events that helped us pull him back. We should have paid more attention, I know, and we regret it deeply. But at least he’s got a chance now, a chance at a new and happier life.
My only wish is that teenagers like him never fall victim to the traps of marijuana. It should never be legalized, despite what other say. It’s still a drug, and paying for drugs never comes in the form of any currency – it asks for lives.