I know I have been a positive influence in my family. I know that a have had a positive influence over my cousins. I am viewed as a role model for them and the fact that I am now drug-free has influenced them to also becoming drug-free.
It was in the third grade where I first remember hearing the word "marijuana". I still recall the presentation that day: the warmly lit classroom was full of eight and nine-year-olds, some listening intently while others fidgeted around, already restless. I sat at the edge of the class, slouched in my seat and wondering if the teacher would yet again notice the open book hidden under my desk. Within a few minutes, however, I too was listening intently to the guest speaker. Her topic was the effects of drugs. Up until that point, all I had known in regards to drugs was "Just say no", a phrase with positive intentions, but one which left many of us in the dark as for what we were saying no to. As we listened curiously, the guest speaker proceeded to explain to us what drugs were, their effects, as well as descriptions and nicknames of some of the more common ones.
That night, I went home excited, eager to tell my dad what I had learned. He listened, far more seriously than I had expected, then told me, as if he could not emphasize enough, how dangerous marijuana was. I hadn't known how strongly he felt about the subject; it wasn't until years later when I learned that he had been close to someone with a drug addiction.
Anyone who attends public school will be constantly susceptible to propaganda about drugs on both sides of the fence. You will get this information through various mediums including the school and the student body. I find incredibly important to learn everything you can on a subject before you take a particular stance or opinion on said subject.
When I was in grade school we had a speaker go before the class and tell us about drugs. Her speech could easily be summed up into “ If you ever do drugs you will progressively do worse and worse drugs until you die or you will go to jail for ever,”. Being in grade school I believed everything I heard and was grateful to be warned about these horrible thing.
Then along came middle school, which is statistically when most people try drugs for the first time. This was the first time in my life I had ever heard of drugs being referred to in a positive sense. You might say this was also my first encounter with peer pressure, but I was never encountered in a persuasive manner and told that I should partake in the consumption of illicit substances. The number one substance I would hear about was marijuana. The understanding that I was able to gist from its users was that it was benevolent because it grew from the earth and that it made you “high” which was an amazing thing that all human beings should experience and may end all war and human suffering.
By the time I went to high school I did my research on the issue and discovered that neither side was entirely correct. Marijuana is not the devil and neither is it god’s gift to man. I decided not to do it because of the chance of legal repercussions and because I was in high school plays and my school had drug testing for extra curricular activities. Overall it seemed like