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1. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among America’s youth.
2. Twice as many 8th graders today have tried marijuana compared to a decade ago.
3. Among kids age 12-17 who use drugs, approximately 61 percent use marijuana only.
4. The number of 8th graders who use the drug has doubled in the last decade.
5. Marijuana is addictive and can hurt young bodies and minds at a crucial time in teens’ lives.
6. More youth use marijuana than all other illegal drugs.
7. Marijuana accounts for more treatment admissions than all other illicit drugs combined.
8. 60% of teens currently in drug treatment are there because of marijuana.
9. Among all treatment admissions for marijuana in 1999 more than half (57%) first used marijuana by age 14. That statistic has not changed.
10. Recent research also shows that kids who use marijuana weekly are more likely to get in trouble with the law, struggle in school, have delinquent friends, engage in sex and end up in dangerous situations.
It’s no wonder that kids think marijuana is harmless; they’re only getting one side of the story! Marijuana is in everything from jokes on late night television to summer teen blockbusters. As long as we focus only on the most ‘severe’ drugs, we let marijuana, “off the hook” and contribute to the mixed messages we’re sending our kids. For more information, visit www.theantidrug.com or call 1 (800) 788-2800.
(Sources include: National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2001, Monitoring the Future, 2001, www.mediacampaign.org).
More Facts You Should Know
Marijuana is much stronger now than it was decades ago. According to data from the Potency Monitoring Project at the University of Mississippi, the THC content of commercial-grade marijuana rose from an average of 3.71 percent in 1985 to an average of 5.57 percent in 1998. The average THC content of U.S. produced sinsemilla (refers to cannabis without seeds-more expensive and more potent) increased from 3.2 percent in 1977 to 12.8 percent in 1997 (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 2000 National Drug Control Strategy Annual Report).
According to the National Institutes of Health, studies show that 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. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette.
Smoking marijuana also weakens the immune system and raises the risk of lung infections. A Columbia University study found that a control group smoking a single marijuana cigarette every other day for a year had a white-blood-cell count that was 39% lower than normal, thus damaging the immune system and making the user far more susceptible to infection and sickness.
(J.B, Adams & BR Martin, “Cannabis: Pharmacology and Toxicology in Animals and Humans” Addiction 91: 1585-1614; National Institute of drug Abuse, “Smoking Any Substance Raises risk of Lung Infections: NIDA Notes, Volume 12, Number 1, January/February 1997; Dr. James Dobson, “Marijuana Can Cause Great Harm “ Washington Times, February 23, 1999)
For more information please contact:
Division of Human Services
Phone: (630) 719-6686
- > Parent Resources > Marijuana Factoids
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