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Illicit Drugs Bringing Down Our Youth Illegal drug use among adolescents has steadily increased over the last few decades The United States has only four percent of the worlds population yet we consume sixty-five percent of the hard drugs USA Today 2002 Every year more young people are exposed to and are using drugs These drugs seemed like harmless fun in the 60s and 70s but thanks to new research and technology we now have scientific proof of the short and long-term side effects of these drugs The drugs I will briefly touch on are marijuana one of the easiest drugs to obtain ecstasy a drug growing in popularity among high school students and the non-medical use of prescription drugs Marijuana known by its street names of weed reefer and Mary Jane is the most widely used drug and the number one cash crop in the United States USA Today 2002 The youth of today should be more educated as to the side effects of smoking but it is not stopping the sharp increase of teens smoking today The medical side effects are numerous and include but are not limited to a Premature cancer b Physical and Psychological addiction c Mental disorders here is our proof that it is not a harmless high Advocates say Marijuana should be taken off the banned substance list and made legal but there are over 10000 scientific studies that prove it is a harmful and addictive substance DEA Report 2003 Marijuana has been referred to as the gateway drug meaning it opens the user up to harder drugs such as Cocaine Heroin and LSD We have no scientific evidence to support this theory but statistics say 12 to 17 year olds who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine Numbers do speak louder than words Ecstasy known by its street names as Adam Bean X XTC and Lovers Speed is gaining tremendous popularity in our
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