Marijuana Facts

  • teen boy smoking marijuanaToday’s marijuana potency is much stronger than that used in the 1970’s.
  • THC, the principal intoxicating chemical, is stored for weeks in fatty tissues including the brain.
  • Serious harmful effects influence skills needed to drive safely: concentration and reaction times.
  • Using marijuana twice weekly doubles risk of depression later in life.



Marijuana Use is Prevalent Among Teens

  • About 12% of Americans over age 12 have used pot in the past year, and use of marijuana among high schools students has been increasing since the 1990’s.
  • Fewer young people today see marijuana as dangerous. In fact, there is a trend toward the acceptance of marijuana as a “harmless herb.” 

Marijuana Is Not a Harmless Drug

  • The concentration of THC, the active ingredient in pot, has quadrupled since the 1980’s. Some of the new edible products can be 10 times stronger than the traditional joint.
  • In 2010 there were 572,000 admissions to emergency rooms due to marijuana use.
  • Marijuana contains 50-70% more carcinogens than does tobacco smoke.

Marijuana Increases Risky Behavior

  • Marijuana compromises judgment, sense of timing and coordination, leading to injury or death from car accidents.
  • A study of 50,000 motorists found that those who smoked pot within 3 hours of driving had twice as many car accidents as those who were sober.

Marijuana Affects Physical, Cognitive and Mental Health

  • Effects include cardiac and lung problems, enhanced cancer risk, and reproductive problems.
  • Marijuana is addictive – in 2012 957,000 people entered treatment to kick the habit.
  • Chronic use has been linked with depression, anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations.
  • Kids age 12-17 who use pot weekly are 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts.
  • Marijuana affects the brain’s ability to concentrate and ability to retain information, leading to school problems and dropouts.
  • Pot causes “amotivational syndrome,” which causes the user to lose interest in daily activities.

Your Actions Do Matter, Take Action to Prevent and Stop Abuse

  • Signs of use include: dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes, and sleepy appearance, reduced motivation.
  • Vaporizers make it difficult to detect by smell.
  • Kids ages 12-17 identified their parents as their leading influence. They do listen to us!

Information sources:, and