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Teenagers smoke pot even if you don't want to

A difficult topic: young people smoking pot. Nobody wants that, reality they are nevertheless. Here is the account of an underage THC user about his experiences. Afterwards an example of a punishment for young people because of consumption.

Field report of a teenager hemp user

“Well, I started when I was 13. The first joint was terrible: I had a coughing fit and I felt sick to my stomach.

I had never even smoked a cigarette before that. My buddies said they actually only smoked the stuff with tobacco because it was so expensive. Despite the nausea, I found the high really great. I had gotten a taste for it.

I did a lot of research on the Internet. Especially how the whole thing works and how it is built. I was also very interested in the different varieties. I finally decided to get myself a bong so I could smoke the stuff without much effort.

Gettingweed was then the easy part. For 30 francs I got a gram of no-name weed (pretty expensive actually). When I asked what kind it was, my acquaintance didn't know the answer.

I had hidden my bong in the attic of our apartment building, where everyone has access. That's where I went to smoke…. A pet bottle with water and a normal lighter at the ready, so I then climbed into the attic. Unfortunately I didn't have a grinder, so I had to crumble the stuff, which wasn't exactly optimal.

After the first head I noticed quite quickly a dull barrel heavy high…. Not at all like I had imagined. (In retrospect, I must also say that it was probably also just very bad weed. In addition, it was stretched with some pea powder).

After the second head I was totally wide. (Mind you it was a small bong with just under half a liter capacity). The ash I emptied into a small empty box, which was just standing there.

But now I had a problem. I was totally high on the dark screed and heard my neighbor talking to someone. So now I couldn't leave the screed without being seen and no doubt I smelled pretty much like pot. I stayed there for about half an hour, sitting in a corner. The noise of the street did not help me to calm down a bit.

When I was finally able to leave the screed safely (according to my feeling), the rest was “a Piece of Cake”. Quickly in the door, a curt greeting in the direction of my mother (as usual) and immediately into the shower.

Who now says that squatting in the attic and bong smoking is pathetic, is probably right. But the circumstances did not allow anything else. At that time, many of my buddies had gotten into it because they had smoked pot. I definitely didn't want to have that experience.

A year of bad, overpriced weed and two broken bongs followed. I used to go to the attic to smoke - alone and in the dark, plus it was cold as hell and loud. Not a good set at all.

I kept moving my weed somewhere else. It was always the same miserable quality. And no one could reliably tell me what kind it was. Finally, I met my dealer for the next two years in Bern.

He thought I was a bit young for it, and so we got talking. He finally gave me good weed and could always tell me truthfully what strain he was selling me (always checked). He didn't charge more than others, but always put a crumb on it. He shared my opinion that you don't get to other drugs directly through weed, but through bad dealers. In general, he did not like the term “dealer” at all.

So I called him my pharmacist in the beginning. He also always asked me how it was going and how the weed was from the last time. I especially liked Lemon Haze and Red Dragon. I'm sure he had other customers, not just me. I called him a pharmacist because weed is like medicine.

We live in a time where a lot of people take pills or remedies every day just to feel good. In doing so, we only get sicker and more stressed. Cannabis has always been a stimulant for me, like a glass of red wine is for others. I never understood why it was so demonized.

My performance at school improved and my interactions with my family improved as well. I also finally managed to find a girlfriend (I'm quite capable of daylight).

In the summer of 2012, I was no longer able to reach my pharmacist. Later he contacted me: He had been arrested for drug trafficking. He would no longer grow weed and would not sell anything for a while, he was sorry.

From then on, there was again low-quality weed at high prices. In early 2013, I contracted heavy metal poisoning. I had bought a baggy no-name weed from a buddy for a fufi and he assured me it was clean.

Since then I have almost completely stopped my consumption and when I buy something I check it with a microscope. So far, I don't think I'm addicted. Sure, it's a habit and I think it's good. It's like some people drink their glass of red wine. I don't need it to fall asleep and I don't get a crisis when I don't smoke for three to four weeks.

So far, I have abstained from using tobacco and my lungs are doing well. Only that I am still a criminal bothers me. I will be 18 years old in April…. I hope I can get through until then with no punishment.

I have no need for any other “drug” if cannabis can be called such. I was on Ritalin for a while for my ADD. And I have to say, Ritalin does make you more attentive but also just dull. I don't go to work stoned, nor do I go to school stoned. No one is harmed by it, on the contrary.

I have become more open and friendly in the last few years. And something like that is classified as criminal? I don't feel like smoking pot alone in the attic anymore. The world would be a better place if more people did it. My opinion.”

Youth and legalization

Dealing with adolescent THC users is very emotionally charged. Everyone wants to protect the youth. But do young people also want to be protected? Is THC use so insanely dangerous that comprehensive abstinence is the only approach? Even though it simply doesn't work? Many young people smoke pot, and many adults started when they were young. It is true that the developing brain of adolescents can be sensitive to drugs. But it is also true that a great many adolescents, like most adults, can find a reasonable way to deal with THC.

In any case, it makes no sense to use criminal law to prohibit young people from smoking pot and then have them treated like young criminals by juvenile prosecutors. Just because someone smokes pot does not make him or her a criminal. The same applies to alcohol and tobacco: Consumption by young people is not a punishable offense. But giving alcohol and tobacco to young people can be punished.

The same should apply to hemp: If young people smoke pot, that is not a criminal offense. But if you make something available to young people, you can be punished. That would be one possibility. But where should young people get weed or hash from then? If they already start smoking pot, it would be good if experienced people could give them a few tips along the way. Nobody says THC use is completely harmless. It takes a certain amount of responsibility and knowledge to be able to deal with THC without problems.

Perhaps, in connection with legalization discussions, ideas should also be developed as to what useful youth protection could really look like: With specialized sales outlets that are only open to young people and where, in addition to obtaining weed and hash, they can also be shown information and alternatives?

Developing such a model is difficult, admittedly. But we should also develop a concept for young people. Because the topic “And the youth?” will come up anyway, it is the most emotional sub-topic in the already emotional topic of hemp. And it also needs ideas for solutions, because it is the young smokers who are most often affected by black market problems and repression. A total ban would probably cause more damage than the consumption of legal herb could ever do.

How are juveniles punished for smoking pot?

When minors are found smoking pot, the juvenile prosecutors come into play. But these are not lawyers for juveniles, they are part of the public prosecutor's office and therefore part of law enforcement agencies. The law also applies to juveniles anyway, only the criminal prosecution takes over another department.

The first time the punishment can look like this: The youth prosecutor's office issues a summary penalty order, with which the young stoner is punished with a “personal performance” over two half-days. For this purpose, he must attend classes in addiction prevention at a specialized center. The parents are invited to attend this course as well. In addition, there are procedural costs of over 50 francs.

The penalties can vary in different cantons. This example is from Bern.

A facsimile of this summary penalty order can be found here.

There you can also find summary penalty orders against adults from the last years across Switzerland.

We are looking for documents

We are still interested in regulatory fines, summary penalty orders and documents of all kinds that show the happenings around the repression against hemp and THC. If you come across youngsters or adults with a fine, please ask him or her to send us a copy of it. Each case is interesting and clarifies the picture we are gathering about hempprosecution.

Last modified: 2023/12/22 21:16

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Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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