Marijuana Facts

There are reports of marijuana (cannabis) use going back as far as the 3rd millenium B.C. In the modern world, cannabis is used for recreational, religious, spiritual and medicinal purposes.  The United Nations estimated that in 2004 roughly 4% of the world's adult population (162 million people) used cannabis annually, and roughly 0.6% (22.5 million) used it on a daily basis.

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Marijuana Facts and Figures

  • Street names: pot, mary jane, gangster, chronic, herb, weed, grass, boom, ganja, skunk, reefer
  • Marijuana is a mind-altering drug, meaning that it interacts with the brain chemically to produce mood-altering effects
  • Contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and 400 other chemicals.
  • Most commonly smoked as a marijuana "cigarette" (joint or nail), or in a pipe or a bong.
  • THC can be found by urine testing days after smoking marijuana.
  • Short-term effects are memory and learning problems, loss of motor coordination, trouble thinking and problem solving, increased heart rate.
  • Long-term effects are cancer, coughing and wheezing, lung infections, damage to the cells and tissues in the body that help protect against disease.
  • Most commonly used illicit drug.
  • In 2004, over 96 million Americans aged 12+ reported trying marijuana at least once.
  • Over 25 million Americans reported marijuana use in the past year.
  • Over 14 million Americans reported use in the past month.

For more information, visit:
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
National Institute on Drug Abuse Teen Marijuana Information