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Where there's smoke: Coach arrested for smoking pot with students

All across the country, lawmakers are exploring the possibilities of legalizing marijuana. Some states have already permitted and place regulations on medical marijuana. Additionally, marijuana is commonly and casually discussed in movies, on TV and online. Between the politics and entertainment surrounding marijuana, it can be easy for young people in North Carolina to get mixed messages about how serious drug-related violations can truly be.

Often, young kids rely on the help and guidance of older people to show them the difference between wrong and right. What happens, though, when adults are the ones condoning illegal behavior?

Recently, six high school teenagers attended a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game with the coach of their junior varsity baseball team. On the way to the game, and again on the way home, the 24-year-old coach decided it would be okay to smoke marijuana with the students. Likely, the coach wanted to be seen as more of a peer than an authority figure.

The coach was immediately fired from his coaching job and is now facing charges of child endangerment. There were no reports of the students facing charges. The fact remains, though, that the students were not only able to smoke marijuana, but were able to do so with an adult. This kind of false sense of security may contribute to young people thinking that marijuana charges are no big deal.

Even a first-time marijuana possession conviction can result in jail time and damage to a person's criminal record. For college students, convictions can mean that student loans and financial aid finances are at risk. It is important to remember that, even though some people downplay the gravity of the issue, drug charges can be very serious. Dealing with them proactively, however, can be a good way to minimize the damage they may have on a person's life.

Source: Yahoo! Sports, "Baseball coach arrested for getting players high at a Dodgers game," Jonathan Wall, July 5, 2012

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