Facts & Risks

Educate Your Family on Dangers of Marijuana Use

Marijuana use comes with real risks that can impact a person’s health and life.

Whether marijuana is smoked, vaped, or eaten, there are adverse effects associated with use in any form.

Studies have found marijuana is an addictive, harmful, and mind altering drug. It over-activates parts of the brain and negatively affects brain development. Marijuana leads to physical health problems, mental health problems, and risk of addiction.

With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana throughout the United States, marijuana potency has increased exponentially. Concentrates are not the traditional joint of the past. Concentrates are highly potent, THC-rich forms of marijuana that can be vaped, dabbed, and used in edibles.

Exposure to high levels of THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes impairment, increases the risks of physical dependence and addiction. Higher doses of THC are more likely to produce anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and psychosis.

Arizona Parents: Do you need tips on how to talk to your child about the new recreational marijuana laws? Download these talking tips today.

Surgeon General Advisory

“This ain’t your mother’s marijuana… the marijuana of today is significantly more potent.”

– VADM Jerome Adams, the first Surgeon General Advisory on marijuana since 1982


Almost 30% of teens have used marijuana - this is TOO many!

Latest Studies

Cannabis use may be associated with suicidality in young adults​ | NIH | June 22, 2021

NIH study suggests a link between cannabis use and higher levels of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt.

An analysis of survey data from more than 280,000 young adults ages 18-35 showed that cannabis (marijuana) use was associated with increased risks of thoughts of suicide (suicidal ideation), suicide plan, and suicide attempt. These associations remained regardless of whether someone was also experiencing depression, and the risks were greater for women than for men. The study published online today in JAMA Network Open and was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Weeding out the truth: a systematic review and meta-analysis on the transition from cannabis use to opioid use and opioid use disorders, abuse or dependence | SSA | 2021


Background and Aims: The idea that cannabis is a ‘gateway drug’ to more harmful substances such as opioids is highly controversial, yet has substantially impacted policy, education and how we conceptualize substance use. Given a rise in access to cannabis products and opioid-related harm, the current study aimed to conduct the first systematic review and meta-analysis on the likelihood of transitioning from cannabis use to subsequent first-time opioid use, opioid use disorders (OUD), dependence or abuse.

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Study shows joint effects of perceived risk and availability on cannabis use | News-Medical.Net | 07/16/2021

Combined perceptions of the risk and availability of cannabis influence the risk of cannabis use more than perceived risk and perceived availability alone, according to a new study at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Researchers observed that those who perceived cannabis as low-risk and available were more likely to report using the drug in the past year and almost daily compared to those individuals who perceived cannabis as high-risk and unavailable. This is the first study to consider the joint effects of perceived risk and perceived availability. The results are published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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Development Over Time of the Population-Attributable Risk Fraction for Cannabis Use Disorder in Schizophrenia in Denmark | Jama Network | 06/21/2021

Key Points
Question Has the population-attributable risk fraction for cannabis use disorder in schizophrenia increased over time, as would be expected with increasing use and potency of cannabis?

Findings In this Danish nationwide, register-based cohort study, the population-attributable risk fraction for cannabis use disorder in schizophrenia increased from approximately 2% in the period to 1995 to approximately 6% to 8% since 2010.

Meaning These findings may indicate that cannabis use disorders are associated with an increase in the proportion of cases of schizophrenia.

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The “Colorado Experiment”: Legalized Marijuana’s Impact in Colorado | Hudson Institue | 06/28/2021

The state of Colorado has been offered up by many policy makers as a test case regarding the wisdom of drug legalization. Colorado has permitted “medical” marijuana sales since 2009, and it allowed for outright commercialization (“recreational use”), as permitted by the Obama administration, since 2014.

Drug legalization advocates have consistently invited the nation, particularly states considering following the Colorado model, to view the state as a real-world “experiment,” demonstrating the benefits or harms of legalized drugs. But beyond the first blush of enthusiasm claiming that “the sky hasn’t fallen” as a result of unhindered access to marijuana, there have been few media accounts citing actual data about how Colorado is faring.

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Latest NEWS Commentary

America’s pot labs have a THC problem | ABC News | 6/30/2021

A new investigative report from FiveThirtyEight about the booming legal marijuana business details claims of corruption in some testing labs.

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You Know Nothing About Weed  |  JohnnysAmbassadors.org  |  11/23/2020

How do you convince someone that they really don’t know anything about something that they believe they know a great deal about? Seriously, if you wanted to explain to a bunch of strangers who don’t know you from the next guy that something they have held onto as fact just isn’t, how would you start? I’d start with a catchy and maybe somewhat inflammatory statement at the beginning of a long-form article with an eye-grabbing title, that’s how. After that, I would try to come up with a clever analogy paralleling this subject with something we all understand and know well, maybe even something as simple as liquid.
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DEA: Teen depression and suicide linked to marijuana use |  FOX 29  |  11/17/2020

More and more research suggests the high potency of THC or marijuana is having dangerous impacts on the developing brains of teenagers. Teens who use cannabis could be at a higher risk of experiencing depression and attempting suicide.

“In 2019, there were nearly 700,000 youths, ages 12 to 17, that was addicted to marijuana, which shows an increase of nearly 187,000 new youth in 2019 alone with cannabis use disorder,” said Dr. Kenneth Finn, Pain Medicine Physician in Colorado.

Finn has seen the negative effects it’s having on teens who live in a state where marijuana is legalized.

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Prop. 207: Will legal marijuana be a smelly problem in the Valley? |  ABC 15  |  10/14/2020

A Valley woman is raising concerns about marijuana odors that could fill the air if Proposition 207 passes, a voter-led initiative to legalize the use of cannabis for responsible adult use. Renee Moore said she is already experiencing the problems caused by the smell of medical marijuana coming from her neighbor’s apartment. Because her neighbors are medical marijuana cardholders, Moore said her property management company and city code enforcement staff have told her there is nothing they can do, as long as the residents are using the cannabis inside their homes.

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Marijuana use increases pain after surgery, requires more anesthesia, study finds |  CNN  |  10/05/2020

If you think smoking or ingesting weed helps control pain of all types, think again. Using marijuana before entering the hospital for a surgical procedure can make your pain during recovery significantly worse, according to research presented Monday …

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Using weed during pregnancy linked to psychotic-like behaviors in children, study finds |  CNN  |  09/24/2020

If you’re one of the growing numbers of women who use weed while pregnant, think twice: A new study found it may increase psychotic-like behaviors in children. The study, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, analyzed data on 11,489 children who were followed as part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which says it’s the “largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States.” The children’s cognitive and behavior patterns were evaluated in middle childhood, around age 9 …

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