Marijuana Facts and Stats

Marijuana Facts and Stats

With clever names like Peace of Mind, Girl Scout Cookies, Train Wreck, and Tsunami it’s a good bet that the marketers of legal marijuana finished high school. That’s less certain for their younger customers. Research shows daily marijuana use before the age of 17 cuts your chances of graduating from high school or getting a college degree by 60%. And that’s just the tip of the joint. Now that marijuana is legal for recreational use in Washington and Colorado, and for medical purposes in 19 other states plus the District of Columbia, scientists are able to study the drug more closely. The result is an outpouring of data on marijuana’s formerly unknown or underappreciated risks.

One study found that 40% of cannabis-using adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse report symptoms of withdrawal -- a true marker of drug dependence, aka addiction. And kids are eight times more likely to use illicit drugs later in life if they smoke marijuana regularly. Another study found adolescents who smoke pot daily shed an average of six IQ points by adulthood -- points you’re not getting back and that can mean the difference between an engaged, rewarding life and not. So just because the drug is legal some places doesn’t mean it’s smart to use it.

Medically reviewed in May 2019.

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