There is a lot of hype and misinformation on the effects of marijuana in the media. For those promoting the ‘new’ marijuana economy, marijuana is harmless and the laws against it have been based on culture rather than science. Nothing is further from the truth, especially for children and teenagers.
The fact that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use does not make it okay for teenagers to use it. Marijuana today is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug and considered to have a high potential for abuse. Teenagers and children are ill equipped to handle drug use, and drug use can lead to a variety of problems, both short-term and long-term. Studies have shown that the earlier an adolescent begins to use marijuana, the more likely they will become addicted.
Marijuana is not harmless. It has a wide variety of negative consequences to health, safety, academics, and behavior. Below are some marijuana facts that parents should be aware of when talking to their kids about marijuana.
- Memory Loss
- Trouble Thinking and Problem Solving
- Problems Concentrating
- Increased Anxiety
- Trouble Learning
- Impaired coordination and motor skills (fine coordination of muscles)
- Driving Is Impaired
- Performance in sports is diminished.
- THC affects neurotransmitters and can lead to mental health problems
- Regular use of marijuana increases thoughts of suicide in teens
- Marijuana increases the chance of major depression
- Marijuana is strongly associated with use of other drugs
- Early use of marijuana is a strong indicator of later drug abuse problems and addiction
- Poor academic performance and poor job performance
- More likely to lead to dependence in teens than adults
- Same breathing problems as cigarette smokers
- Less motivation