AAA Presents In Mr. Moreau’s Health Class: Marijuana Use–The Blunt Truth. Marijuana Use Laws Seem To Be On The Rise…JSEC News Teens May Use


Nicole Castro, Journalist

Teen marijuana use is usually seen as a very bad thing. Yes, in some ways it certainly isn’t a very good thing to do. Your parents and teachers wouldn’t be very happy if they somehow found it that you were smoking marijuana no matter the circumstances. They will believe that it is very bad for you and will indeed want you to stop taking it for your own health and well-being.    It is of growing interest that there seems to be widespread support that  smoking weed is not always such a bad thing as it seems to reduce stress and pain in certain situations.  There seems to be pro’s and con’s related to this topic. 

One thing that is good about marijuana is the fact that it does chill you out in ways. If you have very bad anxiety or are always stressed about something your doctor can prescribe you some medical marijuana as it does calm you down. On the downside though, it does have its more negative effects, such as, paying less attention to you surroundings and some memory gaps during the times you were high. It can also affect you learning abilities and you may experience some delusions.   Mr. Moreau had AAA come into JSEC during one of my classes and the instructors were very pretty, nice, smart, and facilitated a really great conversation with lecture on this very topic.

The presenters who came in were Joanna Frageorgia, who is a Traffic Safety Programs Manager at AAA and Diana Imondi, who is the Traffic Safety Programs Manager at AAA.

The two presented on Tuesday and Wednesday and they spoke about the extensive amount of research that has been done in the impact of marijuana impairment had on .   The research revealed that the use of Marijuana does have a negative effect on a drivers performance on the road.  There is no argument that the impairment affects a person’s ability to drive safely, and for that reason, teens must be aware of the implications of marijuana and driving.    The program that they presented was called Shifting Gears. 

AAA was confident that through this engaging program they can and do encourage teens to make safe and healthy choices before getting behind the wheel or into a car with a friend or relative who may be high.  AAA also invests in teen driver training and education through the AAA Driving Schools which many teens take advantage of.   Their mission statement is : “We Exist For Our Members and Judge everything We Do By How Well It Meets Their Needs”.  The programs core values are:

  • We help and serve as a way of life.

  • We value and respect each and every employee.

  • We secure our future through a combination of innovation and careful planning.

  • We accept responsibility for keeping the AAA brand promise and act as stewards of the AAA legacy.

  • We are relationship builders.We also had to take a survey at the end of the presentation which made us think about how much information we retained.

Marijuana is commonly known as weed among younger people. It comes from a plant called Cannabis Sativa. When you do smoke it, it must be dried up and rolled in a small piece of paper. You can smoke the flowers and leaves of the plant. It can cause symptoms like paranoia, trouble with movement and hallucinations. Be warned that if you do decide to use marijuana you will get increasingly hungry and incredibly thirsty as your mouth will most likely dry up like you put a cotton ball and it soaked up all the moisture from the inside of your mouth. Sometimes the people who smoke are peer pressured into doing so as their friends may make fun of them if they don’t and may stop being friends with them.  This is probably the best time for you, as a non-smoker, to start distancing yourself from this group of friends.  You may want to consider sharing the ill effects of teens and marijuana use however if your friends don’t budge, then it may be time to ‘shift gears’ as was the title of the AAA Presentation listed earlier.  If you do decide to go with the peer pressure from your friends,  you to smoke more, then you most likely may addicted to it.

Smoking marijuana does have some effect that will affect your life as you continue to live. It is very possible to become addicted to marijuana and if you don’t become addicted you may want to try other drugs like meth or coke to get more of a buzz from it that you didn’t quite get from the marijuana. It is very easy to become addicted to a drug if you continuously depend on it to make you feel better and make you feel a certain way.

Driving high is basically the same as driving drunk as being high does cause you to make impulsive decisions and cause your reactions to become late. Your movement can also be impaired as you are high. You may hallucinate and see things that are not actually there which may cause you to get into a car accident if you are driving and you will be the one at fault as it is illegal to drive while high or intoxicated.


For every 1 in 6 people who smoke marijuana about 25-50% of them will become addicted to the drug. About 53% are from the ages of 12 years old  to 17 years old while almost 2% have been smoking since before they even turned 12 years old.

In conclusion, although using marijuana is seen has something that should be banned and apparently a terrible thing to do to yourself, it isn’t always considered a bad thing. Marijuana can be used medicinally for anxiety and actually helps some people with chronic illnesses.   There are dozens of ill effects of using marijuana and in the end each person will have to decide whether it’s a good decision or bad decision for them.   The laws are changing very quickly and it seems like more and more states are legalizing a small amount of weed for recreational use.   Please keep in mind that even in the 6 or 7 states that do allow Marijuana use  a person still must be at least 21 years old to use it.


I’m glad we have been given a lot more information about this topic this year.  The more information we get the better choices we can make.  Life is about choices right?  Lets hope all make the best decision and not get intoxicated, buzzed, high,etc…in any way before getting behind the wheel.  One wrong choice could ruin ours, our families, or other innocent peoples lives for ever based on whatever decisions we make related to drug use.


Respectfully submitted,

Nicole Castro