What do you think you know about marijuana?
There are many popular misconceptions about marijuana and its effects on a community, most of which stem from the idea that it is a natural substance that is harmless and not addictive.
Take the quiz below to find out…
T F Marijuana won’t hurt you—it’s just a plant.
T F You can get addicted to marijuana.
T F Marijuana use can have many long term effects.
T F Marijuana isn't as harmful as cigarettes.
1. False. Marijuana hurts young bodies and minds. Marijuana affects the brain and can impair mental health, leading to depression and anxiety. Research shows that kids who are high are more likely to have poor judgment, leading to sex and other risky behaviors.
2. True. Nearly sixty percent of teens in drug treatment have a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence. And marijuana use is three times more likely to lead to dependence among teens than among adults.
3. True. Marijuana use can have many long-term effects. In addition to the health risks, using marijuana can lead to failure in school, trouble with the law or risky behaviors that could have lifelong consequences.
4. False. One marijuana joint can contain as much cancer-causing tar as four tobacco cigarettes, and smoking pot can result in lung and respiratory damage.
What Is Marijuana?
It's a plant, so it's natural, and natural is always good-right? Think again, because both natural and synthetic versions of marijuana can cause a long-lasting, negative impact on your developing brain.
Marijuana is a green and brown mix of dried flowers, stems, seeds and leaves from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical is THC (tretrahydrocannabinol), which moves quickly through the bloodstream to the brain and other organs throughout the body. Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen that can also act as a depressant or a stimulant.
You may hear people ask, "If it's dangerous, why do so many people have medical marijuana cards?" It's true that scientists have determined that the cannabis plant has the potential for addressing a range of medical conditions. But it's also true that when you're young and your body is still growing, marijuana actually has the potential of inflicting a long-lasting, negative impact on your developing brain.
Using marijuana at a young age can result in structural and functional deficits of the brain. This could cause you to develop weakened verbal and communication skills, lowered learning capabilities and a shortened attention span.
In addition to the possible effects on your brain, smoking marijuana may also be hazardous to your developing lungs. Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.
You may have heard people argue that marijuana is a "gateway drug" to harder drug use. Some say this is a myth, others insist it is a fact. The truth is that there is a link. Research shows that the earlier you start using marijuana, the more likely you are to become dependent on it or other types of drugs later in life.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Some movies and music make "stoner" culture seem cool, natural and like it's not a big deal. But if being fit and getting good grades are some of your goals, using marijuana can become a big deal, fast. Marijuana limits your brain's effectiveness, slows your thinking and impairs your coordination. A number of studies have also shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
Learn more at http://www.abovetheinfluence.com or download the facts HERE.
Can people become addicted to marijuana?
Yes. Long-term marijuana use leads to addiction in some people. That is, they cannot control their urges to seek out and use marijuana, even though it negatively affects their family relationships, school performance, and recreational activities. According to one study, marijuana use by teenagers who have prior antisocial problems can quickly lead to addiction (3). In addition, some frequent, heavy marijuana users develop “tolerance” to its effects. This means they need larger and larger amounts of marijuana to get the same desired effects as they used to get from smaller amounts.
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What if someone gets caught with Marijuana in
Although Vermont allows some use of medical marijuana, all other use or possession is illegal.
- The first conviction is a misdemeanor, the second is a felony. Either conviction will limit your ability to travel freely, get a job, get an apartment, or receive financial aid or student loans. Penalties include up to 2 years and fines up to $2000.
- If you are convicted of possession with less than 2oz. of marijuana, that offense is still a misdemeanor in Vermont, and on your first prosecuted offense, can cost you up to 6 months in jail and or $500.
- A second offense for possession is a felony, and can mean up to 2 years in jail and a $2000 fine.
- If you are caught growing 3 or more plants, or are selling 1/2 oz or less, they could get up to 3 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
These convictions go on a permanent record. Some of the rights you take for granted are not guaranteed after a conviction, such as:
Freedom to travel (parole limitations or border trouble)
Ability to receive student loans and scholarships
Ability to vote (with a felony, you lose this right until the end of your incarceration)
Ability to get a job or apartment (criminal background checks may take you out of the running)