My attitude toward drug use can be divided into two parts: my personal outlook on the matter and my political opinions. On the level of my own lifestyle I am ardently opposed to drug use, seeing it as behavior which detracts from one’s well-being in a serious manner. What I find so abhorrent about both legal and illegal drugs is their ability to cloud one’s judgement and detach one from reality. While some might see the use of drugs as a fun or necessary escape from the stressful lives that high school students endure, I view the use of recreational drugs as a lost opportunity to appreciate living in the present. Rather than have experiences while under the influence—which could cause me to forget them the next day—I see it as far more worthwhile to take advantage of the bounty that youth has to provide and create memories that will last a lifetime.
In addition to the loss of mental control, which I fear, a primary factor in my opposition to drug use is its immediate and long-term effect on health that stares users in the face. Any student who has sat through health class has been bombarded with the facts, figures, and trivia. Yet upon arriving at high school, I became increasingly aware of the effects of drug use on the everyday lives of my peers. I’ve seen friends, classmates, and teammates fail to reach their potential as individuals, students, and athletes because of their habitual drug use. While one joint or shot certainly isn’t going to alter one’s life, the creation of dangerous habits is a serious threat to a person’s lifestyle and should therefore act as an initial deterrent.
Despite my aforementioned personal stance on drug use, on a societal level I hold more liberal views. Most prominently, I support the legalization of marijuana. The current legal situation of alcohol and tobacco leaves the decision to consume drugs up to the individual, and the same ought to be done for a drug whose prohibition has been more problematic than beneficial. There are choices surrounding the use of certain drugs, notably alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, which must be made on a personal level rather than by a lawmaker in Washington. Therefore, while I will most likely go my entire life without lifting a joint, I support the necessity for individuals to make their own decisions surrounding drug use.