You’ve got your whole future ahead of you. Why limit the possibilities? Marijuana, AKA pot or weed, is illegal for people under 21, so getting caught using or possessing marijuana can have consequences both now and for years to come.
You can handle that interview. But using marijuana can get you fired from your job or prevent you from getting hired in the first place. THC (the main active chemical in marijuana) can stay in your system and show up on a drug test for several days or weeks. And, a marijuana conviction could even prevent you from joining the military or getting the job you really want later in life.
You can enjoy the open road. But driving high or riding with a high driver isn’t just risky, it’s potentially deadly. And for teen drivers, testing positive for any amount of marijuana means getting a DUI, which could mean losing your license and paying thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees.
You can be there for your friends and family. And since the majority of Washington teens (83 percent) don’t use marijuana, chances are your friends don’t. Getting caught with marijuana could mean losing the trust and respect of your parents, as well as friends, teachers, and coaches. Even if you don’t get caught, marijuana can hurt your relationships by making you withdraw from the people you care about most.
You can go further. Whether it’s getting a job or going to school, marijuana can knock you off course. Besides making it harder to learn, getting caught with marijuana can get you into trouble at school–including suspension or expulsion–messing with your ability to graduate or get the grades you need for your next step.
You can do what you love. But marijuana could stop you from taking your skills to the next level. Apart from affecting coordination, movement, and reaction times, marijuana use can make you ineligible for the sports teams, clubs, and other extracurricular activities you enjoy.
You can have a clean rap sheet. Marijuana is illegal for those under 21. Period. Which means getting caught with it will get you charged with a Minor In Possession, limiting your future opportunities. An MIP can involve fines, public service hours, misdemeanor or felony charges, and losing your driver’s license. It can even hurt your chances of renting an apartment later in life.
You can invest in yourself. But a marijuana charge can make you ineligible for federal student aid grants and loans, which are needed for some people to afford to go to college.
You can be smart with your money. Spending on marijuana is a waste. Besides being illegal, purchasing marijuana can be expensive, especially if you develop a habit. And if you get caught, fines and legal fees can add up to thousands of dollars.