50th Edition, Lifestyle

South’s cannabis culture on the rise

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Ben Diamond, Volume 32
March 19th, 1993

“Hey, you wanna go smoke? I’ll match you.” Not an uncommon question to be heard at a Newton South party.
As with most high schools in the country today, Newton South High School has its share of drugs, particularly marijuana, and drug users. Although pot’s popularity has been increasing across the country lately (evidence being the new brand of “potwear” available—hats and shirts—at stores such as Newbury Comics), it’s no match for the eternal teen party favorite: beer.
Beer is cheap. Beer is plentiful, and beer is easy to obtain. The keg will probably always be the center of a Newton South party while pot smokers are relegated to the backyard or their cars to smoke their joints.
Perhaps it is due to the nature of being high but pot smokers do not resent thi, and there are few smokers who don’t drink a few beers at parties as well.
There are distinct, noticeable differences, however, between those who focus their inebriation on alcohol than those who’d rather get high.
Simple observations show that beer drinkers are louder and more boisterous than pot smokers who tend to be more understated and mellow at parties. “Drunk people are just loud and obnoxious,” comments senior Viola Tietz. “I’d much rather be with people who are stoned.”
“People who get high will over-analyze everything while drunks don’t use their brain at all, and they’ll usually end up doing something stupid,” senior David Siroky said.
Since the effects of marijuana are more subtle on the mind and body than those of alcohol, it is easier for one to develop a pot-smoking habit during the week.
Although no school is immune from drug addicts, many perceive Newton South as a school chocked full of pot smokers.
“There is definitely a group of kids, a ‘clique’ if I must say, who are extremely frequent pot smokers,” one senior said. It has been conservatively estimated that at least 60% of all South students will try marijuana before graduation.
Percentages for juniors and seniors who have tried pot and/or smoke at least occasionally (once a month are thought to be much higher.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting baked occasionally; it’s no worse than drinking, and it helps you see the world from a different perspective,” says another senior.
While some might argue that the effects of occasional pot smoking on academics, no one seems to disagree that frequent marijuana use is detrimental to school work.
“As with anything that turns into an obsessions, pot will distract from school, but I don’t think it’s pot itself,” said a frequent user.
Others disagree, claiming that frequent use diminishes the motivation necessary to succeed in school. Regardless of the specifics, there is no question that pot is adversely affecting a number of students at our school. Even within the athletic program, marijuana has made its mark.
I would definitely say there are lots of athletes who smoke during their seasons,” said an undisclosed captain of an undisclosed team. “Hell the athletes are the ones smoking the most pot.”
When asked about his knowledge of South’s pot scene, varsity lacrosse coach and school disciplinarian Alan Rotatori declined to comment.
While this article might paint a frightening portrait of the school, it in no way implies that our students are run by drugs. When asked what she thought of the South pot scene, freshman Anne Grinell simply answered, “I don’t really see anything go on. I guess I’m just naïve.”
Others, notably seniors, are more aware of the presence of frequent marijuana users. “I think they’re just despicable,” Siroky said. “They’re giving a bad name to a potentially wonderful substance and a bad reputation to occasional smokers.”
While their presence might be felt, Junior Scott Zimmerman summed up most attitudes by saying, “I know they’re there but I just try to ignore them.”

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