Future Matters.

Amanda T. Adams

Challenges marijuana charges can create for young people

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Uncategorized

While societal attitudes towards marijuana use are shifting, a marijuana charge on a young person’s record can cast a long shadow, impacting their future opportunities in significant ways. That said, it’s important to note that these challenges are not equally distributed.

Studies show that Black and Brown communities are disproportionately impacted by marijuana charges, resulting in systemic inequalities in education, employment and housing access. Nevertheless, for a young person of whichever ethnicity, it helps to know the challenges marijuana charges can create as they’re figuring out what adulting is all about.

College acceptance

While some institutions may disregard minor offenses, others consider any drug-related charge a negative mark. Depending on the severity of the charge and the college’s specific policies, acceptance may be jeopardized. This may force young people to explore alternative educational paths.

Financial aid

Federal financial aid programs generally deny assistance to students convicted of drug offenses. Moreover, the initial denial may create a financial barrier to higher education, limiting a young person’s access to upward mobility. Thankfully, individuals can take proactive steps to mitigate the impact of marijuana charges on their academic and professional aspirations. This may include participating in drug education programs, seeking expungement of their records where possible and demonstrating a commitment to personal growth and responsibility.

Employment opportunities

Many employers conduct background checks, and a marijuana charge can raise red flags, especially in fields with strict drug-free workplace policies. This can make it difficult for young people to find suitable jobs, hindering their ability to build a career and achieve financial independence.

Finding housing

Another area where marijuana charges can create obstacles for young people is in securing rental housing. Many landlords conduct background checks on prospective tenants to assess their suitability and reliability. A marijuana charge may lead landlords to question a tenant’s credibility and responsibility. This can potentially lead to rental denials or higher security deposits.

Moreover, some rental properties have strict no-drug policies in place, which may include marijuana use. Young individuals with marijuana charges on their records may find themselves facing limited housing options or discrimination in the rental market, further complicating their living situations.

Marijuana charges can have a significant and lasting impact on young people’s lives, limiting their educational and professional opportunities. While individual experiences may vary, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential consequences before making any choices that could come back to haunt them in the future. As such, young people and their parents can benefit from seeking legal assistance when battling any drug charges.