April 7, 2013
USA TODAY's article "Marijuana's celebrity stigma goes up in smoke" exposes the real problem with celebrities using marijuana: the effect it has on their young fans.
Research finds that the developing adolescent brain is more vulnerable to the damaging effects of marijuana. And marijuana is the most common drug cited in addiction treatment admissions among teens. The younger teens are when they use marijuana, the higher the risk of addiction.
Unfortunately, our culture is rife with messages that encourage marijuana use. It's no wonder teen marijuana use has risen.
What celebrities do and say in public affects our children. We need to be responsible about the substance use messages we send to children. Any substance use by children is risky to their health and development.
Emily C. Feinstein
CASAColumbia at Columbia University