Here’s a fantastic video – “The War on Drugs” that dramatically summarizes the insanity of drug policy over the last 20 years and how it’s caused so much harm to so many people. It doesn’t promote drugs, rather, it calls for shift from a crime and punishment approach to a sane and compassionate drug policy based on science, health and safety. Make no mistake though, drugs do cause tremendous harm in our society, especially for teenagers. Studies show that when kids start experimenting with drugs and alcohol in their early teens they are at a much higher risk of becoming addicted in adulthood. Approximately 90% of adults that become addicts started using in their early teens before age 18. It has to do with brain development. The “stop” inhibitory circuitry that puts the brakes on and limits pleasure seeking behaviour is not fully developed. The “start” part of the pleasure seeking system is fully developed which is why drugs are so attractive and addictive for young people and why using before the age of 18 has life long addiction implications. I highly recommend the book “Clean” by David Sheff for further reading.