Marijuana. Lesson #2 Pg. 598. Seattle Washington Approved recreation use on 12-7-12. Statistics. Marijuana is considered a possible gateway drug. Studies have shown that a teen who uses marijuana is 15 times more likely to use cocaine when compared to someone who never used marijuana.
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Approved recreation use on 12-7-12
The Chemical THC raises levels of the brain chemical dopamine (pleasure feeling). In some users, the drug triggers the release of so much dopamine that a feeling of intense will-being or elation (great joy) is reached. Other may feel relaxation and reduced inhibitions.
In 2009, THC concentrations in marijuana averaged close to 10 percent, compared to around 4 percent in the 1980s. For a new user, this may mean exposure to higher concentrations of THC, with a greater chance of an adverse or unpredictable reaction. Increases in potency may account for the rise in emergency department visits involving marijuana use
There is increasing evidence that marijuana is addicting. Marijuana raises levels of dopamine in the brain (pleasure chemical).
When dopamine levels wear off (drops), often dramatically, the experience is know as a crash.
Even when users recognized that it was causing problems in their lives, they still continued using.
When heavy users stop using, they experience withdraw symptoms.
Contrary to common belief, marijuana is addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about:
9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana;
this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) and among daily users (to 25-50 percent).
Thus, many of the nearly 7 percent of high-school seniors who (according to annual survey data) report smoking marijuana daily or almost daily are well on their way to addiction, if not already addicted.
Slowed mental reflexes
May suffer sudden feelings of anxiety and paranoia
Difficulty remembering events that just happened (problems with learning)
Problems at work or school may develop
Trouble with thinking and problem solving.
Loss of coordination and concentration
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/11/08/exp-jvm-pot-legalization.hln (VIDEO CLIP)
For males: interferes with sperm production and lowers levels of testosterone.
For females: an increase in testosterone levels and can lead to infertility.
Pregnant females: increased risk of stillbirths and birth defects.
Lung irritation and coughing
Heart and lung damage.
Weakened Immune system
A few hours after use, the person may become very sleepy; which can be very dangerous if operating a vehicle.
Donald Tashkin, a professor of pulmonology at UCLA's David Geffin School of Medicine, If they smoked a small or moderate amount there was no increased risk, in fact slightly less than one. But if they were in the upper third of the group, then their risk was six-fold.
Dr. Stefan Kertesz, is an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Alabama at Birgmingham. Kertesz said smoking marijuana irritates the airways, triggers cough and phlegm production, and could be especially dangerous for asthmatics. Also, since the participants were originally enrolled in a heart study, the researchers couldn't determine how many got lung cancer.
"So don't assume that there is 'no' risk no matter who you are," Kertesz said. http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/Smoking/30593 (Video)
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News in an email, "while casual marijuana use may not reflect an immediate decrease in lung function, marijuana smoke contains high levels of tar, which is bad for your health."
Smoking One Joint is Equivalent to 20 Cigarettes, according to a group of scientists in New Zealand.http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,326309,00.html (article)
In addition to the possible effects on your brain, smoking marijuana may also be hazardous to your developing lungs. Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.41http://www.abovetheinfluence.com/facts/drugsmarijuana (article)
Marijuana smoke contains more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.
Glencoe Health, 2011
Medical Marijuana without the high: