Myth, or Fact? - Marijuana Harmless? Think Again

The Clarity Campaign
Providing clarity and honesty to youth about marijuana
use and to support positive messages of non-use,
because with clear eyes, comes a clear mind.
What is the Clarity Campaign?
• Factual information - No scare tactics, no chastising
• Promoting research-based protective factors
• Empower youth to take control of their physical and
emotional health early
• Enhancing protective factors in our families, schools,
and communities.
Marijuana, the truth!
What is Marijuana?
• Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of
dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of
the hemp, or cannabis, plant1
• It goes by many different names—pot, herb, weed,
grass—and stronger forms include sinsemilla
hashish, and hash oil1
• All forms of marijuana are mind-altering
(psychoactive), they change how the brain works1
• Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals,
including THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)1
What is Marijuana?
What about Marijuana edibles?
Photo Source: Jessica Smith
How many names for Marijuana can
you think of?
Mary Jane
Any others?...
Where do we see Marijuana?
Myth, or Fact?
Marijuana is not addictive.
Repeated marijuana use can lead to addiction—which
means that people have difficulty controlling their drug
use and often cannot stop even though they want to,
and even though it undermines many aspects of their
Myth, or Fact?
It is not safe to drive while under the influence of
Marijuana affects a number of skills required for safe
driving—alertness, concentration, coordination, and
reaction time—so it's not safe to drive high or to ride
with someone who's been smoking.1
Myth, or Fact?
Marijuana use, occasional or habitual, will have an
effect on my school work.
Compared with their peers who don't smoke, students
who smoke marijuana tend to get lower grades and are
more likely to drop out of high school. Longtime
marijuana users report being less satisfied with their
lives, experiencing memory and relationship problems,
poorer mental and physical health, lower salaries, and
less career success.1
Marijuana IQ Study
• Persistent marijuana use linked to a severe
drop in IQ4
“Regular marijuana use in adolescence is known to be a
part of a cluster of behaviors that can produce enduring
detrimental effects and alter the trajectory of a young
person’s life – thwarting his or her potential. Beyond
potentially lowering IQ, teen marijuana use is linked to
school dropout, other drug use, mental health problems,
- Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA Director
Myth, or Fact?
Marijuana can help me relax from the stresses of
school, work, and life.
High doses of marijuana can cause psychosis or panic
when you're high. Some people experience an acute
psychotic reaction (disturbed perceptions and
thoughts, paranoia) or panic attacks while under the
influence of marijuana.1
Myth, or Fact?
If a person uses marijuana once and stops, it will be out
of their system in a few days, or weeks.
Depending on the amount and potency of the
Marijuana, it can stay in your system and be detected
for weeks, sometimes months. The THC in marijuana
is rapidly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs
throughout the body. The more fatty tissue you may
have, the longer marijuana can stay in your system.2
Myth, or Fact?
There are numerous withdrawal symptoms from
marijuana use.
The symptoms are similar in type and severity to those
of nicotine withdrawal—irritability, sleeping difficulties,
anxiety, and craving. Withdrawal symptoms can make it
hard for someone to stay off marijuana.1
Myth, or Fact?
Marijuana can enhance athletic performance.
Marijuana affects timing, movement, and
coordination, which can throw off athletic
performance. Also, many schools can test athletes for
drug use, including marijuana.
Myth, or Fact?
Since marijuana is used as a medicine, it can’t be that bad
for me.
Several states have passed medical marijuana laws, but
marijuana has not been approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to treat any diseases. It still carries all
of the negative consequences and risks that non-medical
marijuana has.1
Is Marijuana Medicine?
• Marijuana has not been approved by the FDA
for two reasons5:
1. Benefits vs. Health Risks
2. Lack of consistency
• Benefits of THC
• Marinol
• Delivery of THC
Arizona Youth Survey
• The Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) is a tool used by the
Arizona Criminal Justice Commission to provide
current information regarding AZ’s youth
frequency/involvement in alcohol, tobacco, or other
drugs use3
• Takes place every 2 years3
• In 2012, over 62,000 students (8th, 10th, and 12th
grade) participated in the survey3
Arizona Youth Survey
AZ Age of First Marijuana Use
AZ Percentage of Marijuana Use Over 30 Days
AZ Percentage of Marijuana Use Over
Life me
Youth Perception of Harm
Perception of Approval
34.3% of Arizona youth feel that they
would be seen as cool if they had smoked
marijuana at least once in the past 30
58.0% of Arizona youth think their
parents would not feel that it would be
wrong, for youth to have smoked
marijuana at least once in the past 30
Availability of Marijuana
uana-facts-teens 1
facts/marijuana 2
12%2031%202012.pdf 3
Thank you for your attention!
Check out the Clarity
Campaign website for
more updates soon!

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