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Marijuana Facts

  • Most users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette (called a "joint").
  • Effects of smoking marijuana are felt within minutes, reach their peak in 10 to 30 minutes, and may linger for two or three hours.
  • Marijuana is the most often used illegal drug in this country.
  • Marijuana decreases the body's ability to fight diseases.
  • Generally, traces (metabolites) of THC can be detected by standard urine testing methods several days after a smoking session. However, in heavy chronic users, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after they have stopped using marijuana.
  • In 1995, 165,000 people entering drug treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of addiction, showing they need help to stop using the drug.
  • Smoking marijuana causes some changes in the brain that are like those caused by cocaine, heroin, and alcohol.
  • People who smoke marijuana often develop the same kinds of breathing problems that cigarette smokers have: coughing and wheezing. They tend to have more chest colds than nonusers. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia.
  • In one study conducted in Memphis, TN, researchers found that, of 150 reckless drivers who were tested for drugs at the arrest scene, 33 percent tested positive for marijuana, and 12 percent tested positive for both marijuana and cocaine.
  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, one of nearly 400 chemicals in a hemp plant, accounts for most of marijuana's psychoactive, or mind-altering, effects. The strength of the drug is determined by the amount of THC it contains.
  • THC suppresses the neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation.
  • Smoking marijuana decreases blood flow to the brain.
  • Marijuana is classified as a "psychotropic" or "psychoactive" drug and is highly addictive for some individuals.
  • Marijuana has a strong and distinct odor that is not easy to wash off and that can remain on the breath despite repeated brushing.
  • You can get high from second hand marijuana smoke.
  • Because it is part of the illegal drug trade and is the most widely used illegal substance in North America, marijuana is a major contributor (directly and indirectly) to petty crime and drug related violence.
  • Some scientific studies have found that babies born to marijuana users were shorter, weighed less, and had smaller head sizes than those born to mothers who did not use the drug.
  • Studies have shown that marijuana lowers testosterone levels in men.
  • Marijuana use can also lower sperm counts possibly resulting in difficulty in having children.
  • Females who use marijuana, over time, increase their levels of testosterone which can result in increased facial hair and acne, and may adversely affect reproductive functioning in women.
  • Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the United States. Nearly 69 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana at least once.
  • Researchers report that marijuana cigarettes release five times as much carbon monoxide into the bloodstream and three times as much tar into the lungs of smokers as tobacco cigarettes.


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  • Drug Facts
  • Marijuana use can also lower sperm counts possibly resulting in difficulty in having children.
  • In blind trials, users who were given both drugs orally were unable to distinguish between the effects heroin and methadone.
  • Methadone is a synthetic drug. It was first invented in Germany during the Second World War by scientists who, having discovered pethidine some years earlier, were developing other similar compounds.
  • In 1994, cocaine-related episodes comprised 28% of all emergency room drug-related episodes.