Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among today's youth. While it's true that other drugs may be more addictive and cause more severe harm, many more youth use marijuana than all other illicit drugs combined. As long as we focus on only the most severe drugs, we let marijuana "off the hook" and contribute to the mixed messages we're sending to young people. Marijuana and cigarettes are now tied as the illegal substance kids report is the easiest for someone their age (12-17) to buy.1Marijuana is addictive and can hurt young bodies and minds at a crucial time in teens' lives. Studies show that young marijuana users are far more likely to take risks, such as having sex, driving while high or riding with someone who is, or using other illicit substances. And young people who use marijuana don't do as well in school as kids who don't use it do. They also face problems later in life, such as loss of a job or failure to get a scholarship. Look through the pages noted below for ways you can talk to your peers and community about marijuana use.
1 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2001