Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs by America’s youth. In fact, roughly 7% of 12-17 year-olds in America and 23% of 18-25 year-olds in America use marijuana. 

Unfortunately, many children and young adults do not fully understand that using marijuana can have severe negative impacts on their bodies, their minds, and their lives in general. But, the truth is, marijuana can be highly detrimental to the biological, psychological, social, and academic development of adolescents and young adults.

Harmful Effects That Marijuana Causes

  • Reduced Cognitive Function
    • Teens who use marijuana on a regular basis lose an average of 5.8 IQ points by the time they reach adulthood.
  • Brain Development issues
    • Interference with neurotransmitters and abnormal brain shape and structure volume.
  • Increased chance of respiratory issues
  • Decline in performance in school
  • Increased risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and in some cases, psychosis
  • The potential for addiction
  • Problems with memory, learning, and problem solving
  • Impaired coordination
  • Increased risk of heart attack and lung cancer over the long-term
  • The Development of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome with long-term use
    • This syndrome involves regular cycles of nausea, dehydration, and vomiting.


Why Do Teens Use Marijuana?

Considering that marijuana is a drug that can potentially lead to addiction, health problems, and experimentation with other drugs, one might think that teens and young adults would avoid it. However, for millions of teens and young adults in America, this is not the case. Here are some of the top reasons why young Americans use marijuana:

  1. Peer Pressure

Teens are particularly vulnerable to peer pressure. This is because teens are still trying to figure out who they are and are often desperate to fit into social groups. So, if a teen is around other teens who smoke marijuana, there is a very good chance that the teen will also end up smoking marijuana in the near future.

  1. Escape/Self-Medication  

Teens often feel overly stressed about fitting into their peer groups, academics, figuring out their futures, parental pressure, etc. If teens cannot find other ways to deal with their stresses, they often turn to marijuana to escape/self-medicate.

  1. Boredom

Some teens have an ample amount of time on their hands after school and are looking for something to fill the void. Using marijuana can be an exciting and satisfying way for them to fill this void. It can connect them with their other marijuana-using friends and make them feel good for a while. For many teens, especially for those who do not participate in other extracurricular activities like sports or school clubs, this is a desirable way to fill time and resolve boredom. 

Take Action To Prevent Marijuana Use At Your School

If you want to help prevent teens from using marijuana at your school, then you can bring our Marijuana-Wise HS marijuana prevention course to your campus. In this course, teens learn about the dangers of marijuana use and are provided with strategies to resist peer pressure and other temptations to start using this drug.

If you would like to learn more about our course or if you have questions
about any of our other offerings, please get in touch with us today!



  1. Marijuana Use by Age Group in the United States.” Kids Count Organization.,1648,1603,1539,1381,1246,1124,1021,909,857/30,31/14409,317
  2. “The Effects of Marijuana on the Teenage Brain.” American Addiction Centers.
  3. “Marijuana Use and Teens.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. “Marijuana DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  5. “Top 8 Reasons Why Teens Use Alcohol and Drugs.” Partnership to End Addiction.