National Drug Facts Week – Marijuana

According to National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) information; Marijuana is one of the most used substances by youth – with 45 percent of U.S. teens having tried marijuana at least once by the time they graduate high school.

Also known as: Boom, Bud, Chronic, Gangster, Ganja, Grass, Herb, Kif, Mary Jane, MJ, Pot, Reefer, Skunk, and Weed

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Stronger forms of the drug include high potency strains – known as sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah), hashish (hash for short), and extracts including hash oil, shatter, wax, and budder.

According to NIDA’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, marijuana use over time is closely related to how safe teens perceive the drug to be. Currently, the number of teens who think marijuana is harmful is declining – in part because of the mixed messages being conveyed by the passage of medical marijuana laws and legalization of marijuana in some states.

However, scientific evidence shows that regular marijuana use during teenage years can affect the developing brain, and lead to problems with studying and learning new things well into adulthood. Science tells us regular recreational marijuana use interferes with other aspects of functioning and well-being.

According to the most recent 2015 PAYS (Pennsylvania Youth Survey) which is administered with youth in 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades; Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug.  It is most frequently smoke although it can also be consumed mixed with food.  Rates peaked in the late nineties, but the last few years have seen reversal of this trend and the prevalence of marijuana use has increased in our county.  Our county data shows that we are higher than the state’s average with 10th and 12th graders.

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