‘Drugged out’ students likely if cannabis legalised – principal

marijuana - stoned teenagersRotorua Daily Post 26 October 2017
Family First Comment: “…The prospect of teenagers knowing that cannabis may be lawful had sent “a collective shiver up the backbone of secondary school principals”. “Many of my colleagues are already fighting a rear-guard action to keep drugs out of school, particularly in communities where it is endemic. The simple fact is, like alcohol, whatever safeguards the government attempts to put in place to prevent teenagers from using it, legalising cannabis use will be equated with legitimising it. Mr Walsh said experienced principals would know the outcomes in terms of “lost educational opportunities, truancy, violence, depression and driver risks”.
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Fears legalising cannabis will lead to “drugged out students” in classrooms has a prominent Rotorua principal calling for a rethink on the impending referendum.

A public referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use will be held by the 2020 election as part of the agreement between the Green and Labour parties.

The Green Party says criminalising cannabis hasn’t worked and a regulated market would enable more control over the drug.

But John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said the prospect of teenagers knowing that cannabis may be lawful had sent “a collective shiver up the backbone of secondary school principals”.

“Many of my colleagues are already fighting a rear-guard action to keep drugs out of school, particularly in communities where it is endemic.

“The simple fact is, like alcohol, whatever safeguards the government attempts to put in place to prevent teenagers from using it, legalising cannabis use will be equated with legitimising it.

“On this basis, it is highly probable more of it will find its way into schools being consumed or sold on back fields, toilet blocks and in student cars.”

Mr Walsh said experienced principals would know the outcomes in terms of “lost educational opportunities, truancy, violence, depression and driver risks”.

“Deans, counsellors and deputy principals can anticipate an increased workload and good students will miss out on critical teaching time while staff attend to drugged-out students.”

I know from my own experience working with teenagers that there is a strong link between cannabis, criminal offending, mental illness and poor academic achievement.

“We were promised many years ago that when the drinking age was reduced to 18 that regulation and education programmes for teenagers would prevent abuse – It is common knowledge that in 2017 teenage drinking remains a serious problem.
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503438&objectid=11936507

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