WHEN WE STARTED TALKING WITH TEENAGERS ABOUT POT, WE HEARD ONE REQUEST MORE THAN ANY OTHER.
You told us you wanted to hear from people who had used weed when they were younger and could talk about the impact it had on their lives. Below are some of their stories, plus new stories and images submitted by Oregon teens. Check out what they have to say about weed and what it means to Stay True to You. There’s even an opportunity to share your story, too.
"I see all my friends around me smoking pot, and sure I've tried it a few times but it just feels like I'm avoiding my problems. I'd rather face them head on."
"I stay true to myself through my style and self-expression, I don't need pot to put me in a box. Some people think because of the way I look that I must smoke pot. I like proving them wrong, and breaking the stereotype."
"She smoked a lot of marijuana in her teen years, which really affected my home life."
"I have a lot of goals and dreams, I can't be wasting all of my time sitting around on my friend's couch smoking pot. It doesn't make sense for me to get where I want to go."
"Honestly, marijuana doesn't do much for me. It sort of just blurs the world around you. I have too much to do, I have to stay focused on those goals. Pot passes the time, I'd much rather be making quality memories."
"Had I not smoked pot for the first half of my life, I probably would have realized what I wanted to do with my life a lot sooner."
"I've never smoked pot. Why would I want to waste my time high when I could be enjoying the real world and going after my goals."
"Over time, pot went from a recreation to a priority, to the point where it just consumed their lives. I knew that wasn't for me."
"fear comes and goes, it stops and slows.
like bleeding, like dying, from laughing to crying.
stay real, stay true, be happy, be you.
dont hurt, dont fight, smile soft, endless delight.
why care, stay strong, in the end, nothings wrong."
"Sure, I smoked pot as a kid. I would go back and change that if I could. When I look back at those times...it's not like I don't remember anything, I just wasn't doing anything memorable. It's a lot easier to stay focused on my goals and the people in my life now. Cutting out pot made that clearer."
"Since pot became legal, I've really relied too heavily on it. I want it to solve all my problems, but I've started to realize only I can do that. I can't avoid them forever."
"I smoked pot all through high school and college. I realize now I did it more to fit in than anything. I didn't actually like the effects; the haze, the laziness, but I did it because everyone around me was. I still wonder today how much more I could have accomplished by now if I wasn't just wasting all those years on pot and trying to impress people that weren't even worth impressing."
"They weren't all bad decisions, but they were decisions nonetheless that could have been avoided or that could have been better had I not been under the influence."
"I saw my older brother smoke pot at an early age. It made me think it was chill and fun, because I honestly just wanted to be like him. But as I got older I realized that pot wasn't getting me anywhere and I decided to change my ways and completely turned my life around."
"When I tried it, I was really kind of surprised at the feeling... you know, they say you get high, but really it isn't like that at all. It's kind of dull in a way. "
"Going through high school, it's hard enough trying to discover who I am without all of the influences around me. I've had to work hard to be myself and find my own path."
But that's not the whole story. Now we want to hear from you. Tell us...
How does weed affect your life? How does it affect your friends or your family? If you don’t use marijuana, what are your reasons? What impact would using pot have on your grades, your relationships, or your future goals?
Everybody has a story. What’s yours?