Facts & Statistics about Marijuana

  • 1 in 6 adolescents who try marijuana will become addicted to it
  • The adolescent brain is especially susceptible to marijuana use
  • When adolescents use marijuana, they have a greater chance of addiction since their brains are being primed
  • ​Marijuana is not “just a plant” anymore – derivatives contain up to 98% THC
  • Early marijuana use and intensity of use are associated with lower educational attainment
  • Marijuana use is also associated with lower IQ among adolescents 
  • ​Cannabis use is associated with psychosis
  • Drivers who test positive for marijuana or self-report using marijuana are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in motor vehicle crashes
  • Residents of states with medical marijuana laws have abuse/dependence rates almost twice as high as states with no such laws 
  • Among youths age 12 to 17, marijuana usage rates were higher in states with medical marijuana laws (8.6%) compared with those without such laws (6.9%)
  • Past-year and past-month marijuana use by all ages exceeds the national average in both Washington State and Colorado where marijuana use is legal
  • ​Accidental ingestion by children has risen sharply in Colorado
  • Marijuana-related poisonings are up in Washington 
  • Emergency marijuana-related calls to the WA Poison Center have skyrocketed post-legalization 
  • ​Teen admissions to drug treatment are also up in Colorado​
  • In almost one of every five traffic fatalities in Colorado, the driver has been using marijuana​

Consequences of Youth Marijuana Use

  • Marijuana use directly affects the brain — specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time
  • Heavy users of marijuana can have short-term problems with attention, memory, and learning,​which can affect relationships and mood
  • Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce attention, memory, and learning functions  and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.  Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent. This means that someone who uses marijuana may not do as well in school and may have trouble remembering things. The impact depends on many factors and is different for each person. It also depends on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana (i.e., marijuana potency), frequency, age of first use, and whether other substances (e.g., tobacco and alcohol) are used at the same time.​​
  • ​High heart rate and blood pressure.
  • An increase in the report of chest pains when exercising among people with existing chest pain.
  • Marijuana users are significantly more likely than nonusers to develop chronic mental disorders, including schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that aren’t really there (hallucinations).
  • Some marijuana users have an increased risk for psychosis (loss of reality), a serious mental disorder where people have false thoughts (delusions).
  • Marijuana use has also been linked with depression and anxiety, and with suicidal thoughts among teens. However, it is not known whether this is a causal relationship or simply an association.
  • Marijuana use can trigger psychosis in people with schizophrenia.​

​Source: Centers for Disease control and prevention.  https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects.htm
Smart approaches to marijuana: https://learnaboutsam.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SAM-Long-Website-Kevin-Sabet.pdf

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"THC (psycho active ingredient) potency of marijuana has grown 10-20 fold since the 70's."