Illicit drugs have always plagued our country and it great citizens; however, we have remained strong through government support and community support groups. We must continue to go forward with strategic planning and development for our citizens and our youth.  Our future must continue to be bright for our citizen with out the hinderance of drugs and the consequences of drug use. Let us explore marijuana and how it has impacted our youth in todays society.  Marijuana use by our youth has been on the uprise since 2013.( https://www.drugabuse.gov) Our youth are starting to use marijuana as young as 12 years of age and the numbers will go lower if we don’t find answers to resolve this.  Are we seeing this issue because most of our youth are populated in the public school system which could give rise to peer pressure or because the laws and penalties aren’t strict enough for those who are selling, and exposing our youth to this powerful drug. I believe our youth have enough on their plate just being an adolescent, compound that with marijuana, what a recipe for disaster.

Since we have the data that suggest that marijuana is being used by children at a young age, we must began to introduce the effects of smoking on their heath and the economic effects as well. There should be a mandatory class educating our youth regarding marijuana and it’s consequences, at the elementary level. This class should be given once every other semester.  The class should outline that marijuana shouldn’t be smoked, eaten or consumed because it isn’t heathy for their body and could stunt their growth. We should also communicate to our youth the importance of getting a career and being a productive member of society, this can’t be achieved if marijuana is consumed because it will be found in their system though drug testing, therefore eliminating them from getting a job or career. I also believe as a special treat to keep them motivated, we should incorporate the help of our local sports players and celebrities. Our Children are drawn to idolize our local “hero”, so we should get them to participate in spreading the news that marijuana and other drugs aren’t heathy. Bringing in local celebrities should only be done by the permission of the parent, because the parents should be the biggest influence in any child’s life.

We must began to start training our youth the moment they are capable of leaning.  This is a critical time were they are very impressionable and susceptible to the wrong influence. I believe this can be done by keeping them involved in community mentoring programs were business owner can teach them to become entrepreneur like my best friend and mentor mike at http://www.livoniatowbybbs.com. This is a crucial step in trying to eliminate the influence of drugs on our youth, because they will have a different outlook of themselves and make better choices. This must be a continuing collaboration of all member of our community: church members, block clubs, mentors, business owner, doctors, lawyers and family.