- A recent government survey tells us that marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the United States.
- A survey conducted in 2005 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated 97.5 million Americans aged 12 or older tried marijuana at least once in their lifetimes, representing 40.1% of the U.S. population in that age group.
- More than 40% of America’s teens can buy marijuana within a day and 20% can get it in an hour or less.
- On an average day, 263 adolescents are admitted to treatment for marijuana dependence.
At present time, marijuana is up to 7 times stronger that it was in the 60’s and 70’s with approximately 420 chemicals. The tar content of marijuana is up to 20 times that of a cigarette. The average first age of use is 14 years old with more teens are in treatment for marijuana use than all other illegal drugs combined. Marijuana is considered the gateway drug to all other drugs and is used more than any other illegal drug.
Street names: Ashes, atshitshi, Aunt Mary, baby bhang, bammy, blanket, blunt, boom, broccoli, cheeba, chronic, cripple, dagga, ganja, dinkie, ding, dow, Dona Juana (or Juanita), drope, ganja, gasper, good butt, grass, hash, herb, jolly green, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, roach, skunk, and weed.
Effects: Difficulty with listening, thinking, retaining knowledge, problem solving, forming concepts, and coordination. Prolonged use may cause memory loss, increased heart rate, anxiety, hallucinations, and an increased risk of cancer.
Signs your child may be using:
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- An unnatural sense of relaxation and happiness
- A heightened sense of taste perception
- Poor memory
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Red eyes
- Decreased coordination
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased appetite
- Slowed reaction time
- Addiction (psychological)
- Persistent anxiety
- Impaired cognitive skills
- Memory difficulties
Myths and Misconceptions:
Myth 1: Marijuana does not pose a health risk
Fact: Marijuana is addictive and presents significant health consequences to its users, including loss of motor skills, accelerated heart rate, anxiety, weakened immune system and increased risk of lung infection.
Myth 2: Marijuana has medical value
Fact: Advocates have promoted the use of medical marijuana to treat such medical conditions as glaucoma. The institute of Medicine, however, has identified various classes of drugs that are available to treat the condition. In addition, a study by the Mayo Clinic revealed THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is less effective in helping cancer patients regain lost appetites in comparison to standard treatments. Medical marijuana has also been found to affect the immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off infections.
Myth 3: Marijuana is not as harmful as tobacco
Fact: Marijuana can contain more than 400 chemicals found in tobacco. According to the National Institutes of Health, someone who smokes 5 joints per-week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.
Myth 4: Marijuana is not a gateway drug
Fact: Among marijuana's most harmful consequences is its role in leading to the use of other illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine. In addition, the risk of using cocaine has been estimated t o be more than 104 times greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have not.
Studies have also shown that users can become dependent on marijuana use and that a growing number of Americans have entered substance abuse treatment primarily for marijuana abuse and dependence.
Sources: Office of National Drug Control Policy, US Drug Enforcement Administration.