Marijuana Facts about Youth

Marijuana Facts for Youth
Effects on the Brain and Development
·        If marijuana use starts in adolescence, the chances of addiction are 1 in 6.

·       The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s December 2012 Marijuana Drug Fact Information states: Research has shown that, in chronic use, marijuana’s abuse impact on learning and memory persists after the acute effects of the drug wear off, when marijuana use begin in adolescence, the effects may persist for many years.  

·       Science confirms that the adolescent brain, particularly the part of the brain that regulates the planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision-making and social behavior, is not fully developed until the early to mid-20’s. 

·       Well designed studies on marijuana and intelligence found that persistent, heavy use of marijuana by adolescents reduces IQ by as much as 8 points, when tested well into adulthood.

Effects on School Performance
·       According to data on marijuana use in youth from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2006), teens who grades averaged “D” were four times more likely to have smoked marijuana in the past year than students who grades averaged “A”.

·       Other studies have found that marijuana use is linked with dropping out of school and subsequent unemployment, social welfare dependence, and a lower self-reported quality of life then non-marijuana abusing people. The average age of starting use is 12 years & 4 months.
·     In Colorado, prior to legalization (2011), 10.7% of youth were current marijuana users, compared to 7.6% nationally.  In Colorado Springs in 2012, positive tests for marijuana made up 57% of total drug screenings of high school students, compared to 33% in 2007.
·       “If Denver Public High School were considered a state, that state would have the highest past month marijuana use rate in the United States, behind New Hampshire.  Denver now has more marijuana dispensaries than liquor stores or licensed pharmacies.” – Dr Christian Thurstone, Denver Health Medical Center

From Missouri Substance Abuse Prevention Network, 428 E. Capitol Ave, Jefferson, MO 65101