Marijuana is derived from the “Cannabis sativa” or hemp plant. Its main active ingredient, delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, causing a user’s “high.” The THC content of marijuana has steadily increased over the past 30 years, thereby also increasing its potency.

Vermont Data

Compared to other states, Vermont has the second highest prevalence of past 30 day marijuana use among 12-17 year olds.

Public Health Impact

Health Impact Assessment

Driving Under the Influence
After alcohol, THC is the most commonly found substance in the blood
of impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and crash victims.

Regular marijuana use by teens can lead to an IQ drop of up to 8 points.Brain Development
Development of the brain continues through adolescence and young adulthood, making adolescents particularly susceptible to the negative effects of marijuana.

Lower Educational Achievement
Data from three long term studies consistently showed lower educational achievement as a negative impact of adolescent marijuana use.

Decline in IQ Points
A recent National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded review of scientific literature on adolescent marijuana use suggests that earlier use is associated with poorer attention span and reduced IQ.

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Resources and References

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