Timpview’s take on Medical Marijuana

Makenzie Gudmundson

Marijuana is one of the most misunderstood, yet most widely used illegal drugs. Prop Two (a proposition legalizing medical marijuana in Utah) was recently passed, and while the changes in the medical community are obvious, this will also affect the social and recreational aspects of this drug. Here are two stories, as told by students from Timpview, illuminating both the life-saving potential and the recreational use of marijuana. These students will remain anonymous due to the serious nature of the subject.

The first student, a Timpview senior, spoke about her father who suffers from a rare form of nerve cancer. Her father has been fighting this cancer for about three years, and the life expectancy for people with this type of cancer is generally between five and six years. Her father is on sixteen prescription drugs to combat the side effects of the cancer, and these drugs “make him hallucinate and his mood changes a lot.”  

She said that many of these drugs, including the opioids, could be replaced by medical marijuana. “[It] could help ease his pain… without the opioids.” Her reminder to the school is that medical marijuana “is about saving my dad’s life.”  

Another Timpview senior knows “a lot more people than you think [who] smoke” but wishes that kids understood what they were risking. Persistent marijuana use has been shown to lower IQ by about six points and is known to impair functions such as attention, memory, learning and decision-making.

However, he reasons that it’s not his decision, and “high school students have never not been breaking rules.” He thinks we should be more concerned with “keeping kids the heck away” from harder drugs like opioids that can lead to addiction and overdoses rather than focusing on the prevalent marijuana. He points out that “excess of anything ends up in schools.”

“Kids who get prescribed Adderall,” commonly prescribed for ADHD, “ [who] don’t use it cause they don’t feel like they need it… they just give it to other kids to do well on tests. Kids who get prescribed Oxycontin, things like that, that’s serious stuff.”

Oxycontin is an addictive prescription opioid. Opioid overdoses have been skyrocketing, and as of this January, you are now more likely to die of an opioid overdose that a car crash.

Marijuana has been legalized and some hope it will mitigate overdose deaths by replacing the more addictive opioids. The bottom line, according to this student, is that when students use marijuana too much, it damages their brains; but if they’re going to use something, it’s better to be marijuana than worse.