When I found out that the illegal weed industry is linked to human trafficking, I couldn’t look at smoking the same way. I don’t want my high to come at the cost of hurting someone else.
[ Impact ] Decoded
Being caught with weed can impact your immediate and long term future including participating in athletics, scholarships, and financial aid. But did you know that the production and use of cannabis can have unintended impacts?
When you buy weed on the street or from a dealer, you don't know the source. Much of California's illegal marijuana industry has been linked to criminal operations such as kidnapping and human trafficking. When you buy marijuana from a legitimate farm or retailer in California, this isn't the case.
Black market marijuana cultivation is threatening wildlife and poisoning public lands, with “obscene amounts” of poisonous chemicals being used in its production.
If you are under 21 and are caught in possession of cannabis, you can get a Minor in Possession (MIP) and be required to complete drug counseling and community service.
An MIP can mess up your education plans. It can result in the loss of federal financial aid, and get you suspended or removed from sports teams or other school activities.
Driving while high increases your risk of getting into a car crash, because cannabis can affect your reaction time, coordination, and concentration.
Can I be kicked off my sports team for smoking weed?
If you are caught in possession of cannabis when you’re under 21 years old, you can receive a Minor in Possession (MIP) and be required to do community service and drug counseling. An MIP can affect your education plans; it can make you lose your federal financial aid, and can also get you suspended or removed from sports teams and other school activities.
I'm undocumented. Can I get in trouble for smoking weed?
If you are undocumented and are caught in possession of cannabis, you risk being deported or facing other serious consequences. Since cannabis is illegal on the federal level, you can get in trouble for using or possessing cannabis even if you are over 21 and using legally in California.
What happens if I get caught with cannabis when I'm underage?
At a minimum, if you are under 21 and caught in possession of cannabis you will be required to complete drug education or counseling and community service. Depending on where you are, if you have other prior offenses, or other factors, you may also face fines and/or jail time. The only exception to this is if you are at least 18 years old and have a current qualifying physician’s recommendation or a valid county-issued medical marijuana identification card.
Is there any proof that smoking weed when you're younger messes up your future?
No one can predict what your future will be. However research shows that if you start using cannabis before you are 18, or use cannabis regularly, you may be at higher risk for things like skipping classes, getting lower grades, and dropping out of school, all of which can contribute to unemployment or not getting the job you’d like to have.
Is it possible to get addicted to cannabis?
While cannabis does not have the same habit-forming chemicals found in other drugs, studies have found that some people are more susceptible to addiction and may become dependent on cannabis.
Even though it's legal, can I get fired for smoking weed?
Yes. Even though it's legal in California for people 21 or older to use cannabis, your employer still has the right to conduct drug testing and ban cannabis usage for their employees.