The National Office of Drug Control Policy is launching a national campaign to inform kids about the impact of smoking marijuana on academics. Phillippe Cunningham is a psychiatry professor and a federal consultant on the issue. He says marijuana use is a national problem. He says research showed that last year one-point-three million kids between the ages of 12 and 17 used marijuana for the first time.
Cunningham says Iowa kids aren’t immune from the problem. He says 12-thousand Iowa kids tried marijuana for the first time and he says three-out-of-five kids between the ages of 12 and 17 entering drug treatment had marijuana as the primary drug they abused. He says about 15-percent of 11th graders said they had used marijuana at least once in the past month. Cunningham says those are figures that should raise concern. He says when you look at the Iowa data, it does raise concern that kids are using marijuana in high numbers.
Cunningham says the national campaign will try to show kids that using marijuana can hurt their academic performance. He says one of the most well-established findings with marijuana use is that it inhibits memory. He says research shows kids with the average grade of “D” or below were four times more likely to have used marijuana as the kids with an average grade of “A.” Cunningham says marijuana can have a long-term impact by hurting a kid’s academic performance and preventing them from getting the grades and test scores they need to get into and perform well in college.
Cunningham says parents have to get involved and keep kids away from drugs. He says there’s not going to be one conversation that’s going to keep kids away from drugs. He says you have to monitor kids and know who they’re hanging around with. He says the number one indicator of whether kids will use drugs is the people they hang out with. He says you also have to set up rules with consequences if kids do use drugs. Cunningham says you can find advice and resources on keeping your kids drug-free at :www.TheAntiDrug.com .