Drug Facts: Marijuana

In the 1970s, the baby boom generation was coming of age, and its drug of choice was marijuana. By 1979, more than 60 percent of 12th-graders had tried marijuana at least once in their lives.

From this peak, the percentage of 12th-graders who had ever used marijuana decreased for more than a decade, dropping to a low of 33 percent in 1992. However, in 1993, first-time marijuana use by 12th-graders was on the upswing, reaching 50 percent by 1997.

Although the percentage of 12th-graders who have experience with marijuana has remained roughly level since then, there is still reason to be concerned.1 In 2002, an estimated 2.6 million Americans used marijuana for the first time.

Roughly two-thirds of them were under age 18. Furthermore, the marijuana that is available today can be 5 times more potent than the marijuana of the 1970s.

The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes, and – contrary to popular belief – it can be addictive.

Marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, can harm the lungs. The use of marijuana can impair short-term memory, verbal skills, and judgment and distort perception.

It also may weaken the immune system and possibly increase a user’s likelihood of developing cancer. Finally, the increasing use of marijuana by very young teens may have a profoundly negative effect upon their development.

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1 Comment »

  1. Daniel Said:

    I did not know that! Very good post!


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