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Marijuana goes by a variety of nicknames such as: dope, grass, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, weed, skunk, chronic and ganja. Call it what you want, but marijuana has dangerous effects. Marijuana comes from the cannabis sativa plant. There is a chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana that makes it a mind-altering substance. People use marijuana in several ways. One way is rolling marijuana into a cigarette called a joint. Another way is emptying cigars and filling them with marijuana. Others smoke marijuana through a water pipe called a bong. Lastly, some people mix it with food (brownies are commonly used) or brew it into their tea.
But everybody’s doing it! It can’t be that bad!
This is not true. In a 2009 National Institute on Drug Abuse survey, only 16 percent of 10th graders and 21 percent of 12th graders had used marijuana. These numbers have been declining since the late 1990s.
What are the short-term effects of marijuana?
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Impaired judgment, perception and coordination
- Immediate “good feelings”
- Red eyes
- Rapid heart beat
What are the long-term effects of marijuana?
- Memory and learning problems
- Withdrawal symptoms – including weight loss, irritability, sleep problems
- Mental health problems
- Respiratory infections and bronchitis