Drug Classification - The behavioral effects is unique,
preventing classification of the drug as a stimulant,
sedative, tranquilizer, depressant or hallucinogen.
However it is a Schedule I controlled substance.
Official Name – Cannabis
Synonyms: Marijuana, pot, reefer, buds, grass, weed,
dope, ganja, herb, boom, gangster, Mary Jane, joint,
hash, blow, blunt, green.
Appearance - Normally has an odd number of leaflets
per stem, such as five, seven, or nine, and can grow up
to 20 feet high. Usually green or brownish but can also
appear yellow, orange or purple.
Affects On The Brain –
Long Term: Impairs memory and learning skills. Chronic THC exposure may
hasten age-related loss of hippocampal neurons.
Short Term: As THC enters the brain, it causes the user to feel euphoric—or
high—by acting on the brain's reward system. It stimulates brain cells to
release the chemical dopamine. THC also disrupts coordination and balance
by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia—parts of the
brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time.
Affect On Rest Of The Body –
Long Term: Someone who smokes marijuana regularly have a greater risk of
lung infections. In addition, marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of
the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants
Short Term: Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an
individual's heart rate speeds up, blood vessels in the eyes expand, and
coordination and balance are impaired.
Medical Uses –
Reduces nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with
Treats pain and muscle spasticity
Serves as appetite stimulants
Differences In Affects By Gender And Age – For students who smoke
marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of
high school. Older adults who use marijuana have an increased risk
for heart attack.
Affects On The Fetus – Smoking marijuana during pregnancy
may cause lasting behavioral and mental defects in the child. It
may also affect your baby's growth and the development of his
nervous system. Other studies even found that young children
whose mothers smoked marijuana during pregnancy had a
higher risk of leukemia.
Physical Symptoms –
Rapid heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Increased rate of breathing
Behavioral Symptoms –
Slowed reaction time
Distorted sense of time
Magical or "random" thinking
Short-term memory loss
Anxiety and depression
Total Number Of Users –According to Gallup Politics 38% of the US population have tried
marijuana. Also CBS News reported Daily or almost daily marijuana use increased from 5.1 million
Americans in 2007 to 7.6 million in 2012.
Demographics –According to a recent Gallup poll, 30% of American women have tried marijuana,
compared to 47% of men. 38% of those to try marijuana were white. 36% of those graduated college.
In fall 2013 a Gallup poll reported nationwide support for legalizing marijuana at 58 percent.
According to recent government studies, as many as 30% of today's teenagers are smoking
Addiction Data –Contrary to what many pot smokers may tell you,
marijuana is addictive, at least psychologically. Many experts also
believe that marijuana is physically addictive. Long-term marijuana
use can lead to addiction. Those addicted have difficulty controlling
their drug use and cannot stop even though it interferes with many
aspects of their lives. It is estimated that 9 percent of people who use
marijuana will become dependent on it. There are currently 684,000
people dependent on marijuana out of the 7.6 million Americans who
Reason For Use – Many marijuana users feel the drug is healthier than
alcohol. It has also been known to cure migraines, relax your body,
make food taste better, increase appetite and better your mood. It has
also been used spiritually as many Rastafarians use the drug to ―talk
Withdrawal – One in 12 can feel withdrawal symptoms if they can't
get high when they want to. Among heavy pot smokers, the rates of
dependence are higher. Symptoms of withdrawal from pot might
Treatment – Behavioral treatments, such as motivational
enhancement therapy (MET), group or individual cognitivebehavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM), as
well as family-based treatments have shown to reduce marijuana use.
Even with the most effective treatment only about 50 percent of
enrollees achieve an initial 2-week period of abstinence, and among
those who do, approximately half will resume use within a year.
Organizations Related To The Substance –
NORML is a nonprofit lobbying organization working to legalize
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the largest organization
working solely on marijuana policy reform in the United States.
Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who
share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we
may solve our common problem and help others to recover from
The Marijuana Addiction Support Group is a community of
patients, family members and friends dedicated to dealing with
Affects on the workplace - Several studies have linked
workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences,
tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and
job turnover. A study among postal workers found that
employees who tested positive for marijuana on a preemployment urine drug test had 55 percent more