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Marijuana Drug


  • Marijuana is the most widely abused illicit drug in the country, far outpacing any other illicitly used substance, including prescription pain killers.
  • Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction. Approximately 9 percent of adult users will become addicted to marijuana and 17 percent (1 in 6 users) of those who start young will.
  • Marijuana potency has risen from just under 4% THC in the mid-1980s to 15% THC in 2012.
  • Marijuana deposits four times more tar in the lungs than tobacco smoke, and the amount of cancer-causing substances is up to two times greater in marijuana tar.
  • Marijuana has been associated with childhood cancers following parental use, including leukemia.
  • Marijuana use has been linked to many long-term psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder and an a motivational state.[ Reece, Albert S. 2009. “Chronic Toxicology of Cannabis.” Clinical Toxicology, 47, 507-524.] It may also hasten the onset of schizophrenia in certain individuals and worsens the course of schizophrenia spectrum disorders.


  • Marijuana use negatively effects motivation, memory, AND learning..
  • Children who first smoke marijuana under the age of 14 are more than five times as likely to abuse drugs as adults, than those who first use marijuana at age 18.
  • Youth with an average grade of D or below were more than four times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year than youth with an average grade of A.
  • The more a student uses marijuana, the lower their grade point average is likely to be and the more likely they are to drop out of school.
  • A recent study found that those who used marijuana heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a permanent drop in IQ of 8 points.


  • Research shows that approximately 9 percent, or about 1 in 11, of those who use marijuana will become addicted.
  • Marijuana is the common illegal drug involved in auto fatalities.
  • Marijuana is linked to school failure. Research shows marijuana use can lower your IQ if smoked regularly in your teen years.
  • Marijuana affects the brain – altering memory, judgment, and motor skills.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009). Office of Applied Studies. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 2009 Discharges from Substance Abuse Treatment Services, DASIS. Budney AJ, Vandrey RG, Hughes JR, Thostenson JD, Bursac Z. 2008. “Comparison of cannabis and tobacco withdrawal: Severity and contribution to relapse.” J Subst Abuse Treat, e-publication ahead of print:

National Institute on Drug Abuse . DrugFacts: Marijuana. Revised December 2012.

Bartzatt, Ronald. March 2010. “Cannabis Toxicity and Adverse Biological Activity.” Research & Reviews in BioSciences: Vol. 4, Iss. 1.

Tomar, Rajpal S., Beaumont, Jay, Hsieh, Jennifer. March 2009. Evidence of Carcinogenicity of Marijuana Smoke, California Environmental Protection Agency

Reece, Albert S. 2009. “Chronic Toxicology of Cannabis.” Clinical Toxicology, 47, 507-524. Ibid. Bartzatt, R.

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know.” 2011.

The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) report. August 23, 2002.

Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA’s National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Report—Marijuana Use among Youths. July 19, 2002.
Available at

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E.. University of Michigan, 2011. Monitoring the Future Study

M.H. Meier, Avshalom Caspi, et al. 2012. “Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences