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Spread the Facts on Weed

Welcome to Spread the Facts, a Garrett County website for everything you want to know about teens and marijuana. Check out our visuals, definitions, quizzes, and FAQs to get wise on weed.

Marijuana & Youth – A Bad Combo

What makes the teen brain different from any other brain? Why is this such a big deal? New research suggests that because the teen brain is still developing, smoking weed may reshape the structure of the brain, potentially damaging a teen for life. When the THC from smoked marijuana enters the brain, it attaches to receptors in the brain and “hijacks” them so that their normal function is disrupted.

What happens when marijuana hijacks and alters a teen’s brain development? Startling consequences…such as a lifetime decrease in IQ. Regular marijuana use that begins as a teenager can lead to a drop of up to 8 IQ points.  And then there’s memory loss, lack of ability to concentrate and make decisions, and problems learning new things. We are all given one brain at birth that has to last a lifetime. Make the most of it!


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1 in 6 teens who start smoking weed in their teens become addicted to it.

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Marijuana Manipulation

Sometimes more power is a good thing, but with marijuana, the increased power (or potency) makes the drug more toxic. Today’s weed is definitely not the weed of the 1970’s and 80’s! The THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily since the 1980’s. In 2011, the THC concentration in marijuana averaged 11.4% compared to around 4% in the 1980’s. Some current strains contain as much as 30% THC.

Depending on what part of the marijuana plant is used, the THC content can be altered to be high or low. The marijuana that is smoked or eaten does not come in a well-defined dose with measureable ingredients.

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Toolkit
Marijuana Talk Kit for Parents
Research Report
Research Report
Marijuana Talk Kit for Parents


Question #1: What is different about today’s weed compared to the weed of the 1970’s and 80’s?

The risk of marijuana "intoxication" is especially risky among new users because of the high levels of THC in weed that are more likely to cause unwanted reactions. There are increasing numbers of emergency room visits involving marijuana that may be related to the increasing potency of weed.

Question #2: Which illegal drug is most often found in drivers who die in car crashes?

Marijuana shows up in the bloodstream of about 14% of drivers who die in car crashes, sometimes in combination with alcohol and other drugs. By itself, marijuana roughly doubles a driver's chances of being in an accident.

Question #3: How does weed negatively affect driving?

Smoking weed has much more of a mental effect than a physical effect, so it's not easy to tell when someone is impaired like you can with drinking. However, the mental effects are still very dangerous when it comes to driving.

Question #4: Frequent use of weed among teens is linked to which of the following?

Because marijuana changes the developing brain, teens who use have trouble concentrating, learning new things, and remembering. This can lead to poorer grades a greater likelihood of quitting school.

Toolkit
Facts for Parents
Facts for Teens
Facts for Teens
HiQ

About Us

Spread the Facts! is a marijuana prevention campaign organized by the Garrett County Health Department and the Garrett County Drug Free Communities Coalition in Western Maryland.