Marijuana & Its Effect on Blake

Looking back on 2023, the CDC newsroom shows a slow but steady decrease in vape usage in teens. This, of course, is seen as a good thing, but with that came the increase in the use of another damaging substance: marijuana. Last year, on July 1st, Marijuana was legalized in the state of Maryland for people 21 and older. Because of this, it has become easier for underage individuals to access the drug, and that has led to an increase in usage.

We can see it in our schools–you’ll almost always catch a whiff of marijuana walking down certain halls. There’s been a wave of what some may call learned helplessness among the teachers because of how big the issue has become during this school year. With the legalization of the drug, more and more students indulge for no other reason than because they can. Marijuana consumption has affected Blake in many ways; bathrooms get locked, hall passes are cut down, and students aren’t as focused and ready to learn more than usual. Many teachers and students are frustrated with the state of our school. 

When we asked one of our security guards their thoughts on the uptick of marijuana in schools, they said, β€œI believe marijuana usage has increased, and it isn’t unexpected considering the legalization enacted, I think it was around mid-2023.” They expressed feeling like it has become more accessible and normalized for students, which has made marijuana more of a problem now than it has been in recent years. The administrator added that different forms of consumption also contribute highly to the use of drugs in school.  

Other administrators we spoke to were History and Gov. teachers, Mr. Jeter and Ms. Loveland. When we asked them if they thought the marijuana usage increase was because of the legalization that occurred in 2023, Jeter responded, β€œI think it’s the combination of the legalization plus the decline of enforcing policy against students.” Loveland adds β€œWhether it is legalized in Maryland or not doesn’t make it legal for students”.

On top of the administration, we got opinions from our peers here at Blake, β€œThere’s definitely been an increase, like for sure. Every morning just on the bus, you smell weed on kids it’s so unreal”. A recurring concern has been how often you smell the drug, even at earlier times of the day. Another student commented, Β¨It’s kind of crazy how normalized it is. People just walk around smelling like weed like it’s normal.Β¨

While it might be true that not everyone participates in the usage of marijuana in our schools, it is undeniable that it affects all of our students, with the increased restriction on bathroom passes and wallways. MCPS has implemented new measures to try to limit and reduce the use of cannabis, but with how new these developments are, we haven’t been able to see a drastic result yet.