Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the U.S. Statistics have shown it is the number one drug of choice for teenagers.
Physical and Psychological Effects
When marijuana enters into the bloodstream, it acts on the brain and nervous system. Marijuana alters perception of reality, distorting the way the user's senses work, as well as distorting the user's sense of time, space, and self. Even after just one use, marijuana chemicals can be seen in the brain 3 to 6 weeks later and can be detected in a drug screening.
Regular use of marijuana can cause a person to use more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect. At continuous high dosages, some people become dependent on it. When they stop using it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, nervousness, and changes in temperament.
- Induces premature babies
- Causes birth defects in unborn children whose mothers use marijuana during pregnancy; several studies also cite genetic birth defects related to the father
- Increased heart rate - causing potential cardiac problems for people with heart conditions
- Can cause lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, asthma
- Affects immune system
- Reduces resistance levels to disease and illness
- Decrease in sexual pleasure
- Psychological dependency may cause neglect of other important needs
- Relationship with family, friends, employers, and employees may suffer
- Interferes with ability to learn and make good decisions
- Quality of school work and job performance may suffer
Mental Health and Behavior Risks
- Short-term memory
- Mood swings
- Impaired reaction time
- Confusion, anxiety
- Legal Risks