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The Truth About Marijuana

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Weed, pot, grass, reefer, ganja, Maryjane, blunt, joint, trees – whatever you call it, marijuana has many misconceptions that are often believed in our society. Misconceptions such as it is not harmful or non-addictive; Not only are these wrong, but dangerous, especially for young people. Here are the FACTS about marijuana:

Marijuana affects your self-control

Marijuana can seriously affect your sense of time and your coordination, impacting things like driving. Nearly 456,000 emergency room visits in 2011 were related to marijuana.

It affects your brain

The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, affects the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed.

It affects your lungs

Smoke from marijuana deposits four times more tar in the lungs and contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.

It affects other aspects of your health

Chronic marijuana use has been linked with depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of schizophrenia in some cases.

It is not always what it seems

Marijuana can be laced with substances such as PCP, formaldehyde, or codeine cough syrup without your knowledge. “Blunts” – hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana – sometimes have crack cocaine added.

Before you risk it

Know the law

Marijuana is still illegal federally and in the state of California, it is not to be sold or consumed by anyone under the age of 21.

Get the facts

Smoking marijuana can cause health problems, such as chronic coughing, chest colds, lung infections, and breathing problems.

Stay informed

It has not yet been proven that using marijuana leads to using other drugs, but most teens who try drugs start with marijuana, alcohol, or tobacco. One study found that people who had used marijuana before the age of 17 were more likely to use other drugs and develop drug problems later on.

Know the risks

Marijuana affects your coordination and reaction time, raising your risk of injury or death from car crashes and other accidents.

Keep your edge

Marijuana affects your judgment, drains your motivation, and can make you feel anxious.

Look around you

Most teens aren’t smoking marijuana. According to a 2012 survey, five out of six 12 to 17-year-olds have never even tried marijuana.

Know the signs

How can you tell if a friend is using marijuana?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell. There are signs you can look for.

If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may be using marijuana:

  • Seeming dizzy and having trouble walking
  • Having red, bloodshot eyes and smelly hair and clothes
  • Having a hard time remembering things that just happened
  • Acting silly for no apparent reason

What can you do to help someone who is using marijuana or other drugs?

Be a friend and encourage them to seek professional help.

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