A Colorado teen who spent time in juvenile detention for dealing pot speaks about his own experience and how teens in the Roaring Fork Valley area are getting their hands on marijuana.
Charles, 15, agreed to be interviewed for as long as his last name was not revealed. A sophomore in Roaring Fork High School, he had only been smoking and selling pot for about half a year when his activities were discovered: “A kid told on me… His parents found the marijuana and they asked where he got it, and he told them it was me. Three days later, I was getting in a car and police cars pulled up and said, ‘Come with us.’”
Charles’ source for the pot he was selling was the older brother of a friend. Charles met him a week after trying his first joint at a party, and was presented with the proposition to earn money selling pot. The source, a guy in his 40s, had been selling pot for decades; nowadays, however, he is exclusively selling medical marijuana after he was able to get a marijuana registry card for back pain.
Charles commented: “They’re really easy to get them around here… you can get them for headaches.”
Lori Mueller, program director of Youth Zone, a diversion system for young offenders, shared that teen attitudes towards pot is changing: “Marijuana is no big deal to them… And it’s very hard to work with kids who truly believe — or whose parents believe — that marijuana is medicine. If it’s medicine, how can it be wrong? When they see a medical marijuana shop on every other block, and they have friends or parents of friends who have medical marijuana cards, it doesn’t feel to them like there’s anything to worry or be nervous about.”
Charles has since gone back to school, and hopes to join the military after high school. He intends to use that goal as a motivating factor to stay clean, knowing that having a drug conviction will flush that dream down the drain.