Marijuana Information for Teens



The risk of marijuana

Most teenagers do not use marijuana. In fact, 94% of Marshalltown 6th, 8th and 11th graders surveyed in the Iowa Youth Survey said they have never tried marijuana in the past 30 days. So the best choice any young person can make is to never try marijuana or any other drug - not even once. Marijuana and other drugs can mess you up. Your performance in school, sports and other activities will suffer if you get high. You don't have to use marijuana or any drug just because you think everybody else is doing it! Read on to get more information and to get help for you or someone you know who is smoking marijuana.

Marijuana can cause:

  • Problems with memory and learning
  • Distorted perceptions (sights, sounds, time, touch)
  • Trouble with thinking and problem-solving
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks
  • Trouble with the law

Young people who use marijuana weekly have double the risk of depression later in life. There is evidence of increased risk of schizophrenia in later years in some teens who smoke marijuana.Your parents love you and don't want you to use drugs of any kind.

Did you know? The potency or strength of marijuana has tripled over the past 20 years.

Did you know? There are over 400 chemicals in marijuana. Get more information at the Marijuana Resource Center.

Dealing with addiction.

When your parents use drugs.

Take a marijuana quiz.

Get more information:

SATUCI can help with prevention and treatment services. Call us at 641-752-5421.

Marijuana Information for Adults

More youth use marijuana than any other illicit drug. In 2009, there were 2.4 million new users of marijuana. Youth need to know how risky marijuana use can be so they can make better choices. The earlier you talk to your kids about marijuana, the less likely they will be to use it. You can influence your child’s behavior, particularly if you are armed with facts about drugs so read on...

Marijuana use can lead to health, social and behavorial problems at a crucial time in youth’s lives when their bodies and brains are still developing. Read about the negative effects of marijuana.

The good news about marijuana use in Marshalltown is that 94% of Marshalltown students (6th, 8th, 11th grades) surveyed in the Iowa Youth Survey said they had not used marijuana in the past 30 days. But research shows that kids are starting to use marijuana at an earlier age and very few young people use other drugs without first trying marijuana.

Is your teen using? Find out here.

Take a mariuana quiz.

From the Iowa Youth Survey:

  • In the past year, 53% of Marshalltown 11th graders, 48% of 8th graders and 43% of 6th graders said their parents/guardians had not talked to them about marijuana.
  • 55% of 6th, 8th and 11th graders said they think they would be a great risk of harming themselves if they smoked marijuana once a week. 54% of 8th graders said they would be at great risk, but the percentage drops to 41% in 11th grade. That’s information from the 2010 Iowa Youth Survey. In the 2009 survey, 63% of 8th graders and 44% of 11th graders said they would be at great risk.
  • 11% of 11th graders said they were age 15 or 16 when they first tried marijuana and 7% said they were 13 or 14.
  • 41% of Marshalltown 6th,8th and 11th graders said they think it would be very hard to get marijuana. 39% of 8th graders said it would be very hard and 18% of 11th graders said it would be very hard. 56% of 11th graders said it would be easy or very easy to get marijuana.


Be prepared and know the facts

  • Marijuana use sends more youths to treatment than any other drug.
  • Adolescent marijuana users show lower academic achievement compared to non-users. Read about how marijuana may disrupt brain development.
  • Even short-term marijuana use has been linked to memory loss and difficulty with problem-solving.
  • Smoking marijuana is every bit as bad as smoking cigarettes.
  • Kids who use marijuana weekly are four times more likely to engage in violent behavior than those who don’t.
  • Smoking marijuana leads to changes in the brain that are similar to those caused by cocaine, heroin or alcohol.
  • Marijuana today is more potent and its effects can be more intense. In fact, the average potency of marijuana has more than doubled since 1998.
  • Get more information. Read about synthetic marijuana in Iowa.

How you can keep your kid away from marijuana?

  • Be involved in your kids’ lives. Ask who, what, where and when.
  • Know who your child’s friends are, what your child is doing, when she’ll be home and where she’s going.
  • Eat dinner together, listen to music, watch a ball game, do chores.
  • Set a firm rule of no drug use in your family. Don’t assume that your child knows where you stand.
  • Commit yourself to a drug-free lifestyle. You are your kids’ most important role model. They notice everything you do.
  • Maintain an open and honest dialogue with your child.

What if you smoked marijuana when you were young?

This is an issue that many parents hope to avoid. Unless the answer is no, it may be difficult to know what to say. An honest answer is the best answer. Otherwise you might risk losing credibility with your kids. This doesn’t mean you should recount every detail of your high school or college years, but use it as an opportunity to talk with your child. Kids can learn a lot from their parents’ experiences. Today’s marijuana is not the “ditchweed” of earlier days. We also know much more about the real risks of marijuana use. Make it a discussion about your child’s future and not about your past. Use this as an opportunity to talk about making good choices.

Other resources:

SATUCI offers prevention and treatment services. Call 641-752-5421.